VATICAN CITY (RNS) Since mid-July, Pope Francis has been using Communion wafers made by an Argentine prisoner in the daily Mass he celebrates at the Vatican’s Santa Marta residence.

The hosts are made by Gabriela Caballero, a 38-year-old woman who is serving a seven-year jail term in the San Martin Penitentiary outside Buenos Aires.

Her story was revealed by the Argentine news agency NOVA and picked up by Il Sismografo, a blog with close connections to the Vatican.

Caballero gave the hosts, together with a long letter to the pope, to Bishop Oscar Ojea of San Isidro, who regularly visits the prison. Ojea, in turn, delivered the hosts to the pope on July 16 during a visit to the Vatican.

Francis began using the hosts on July 18; the day after he wrote back to Caballero, thanking her for the gift.

“From tomorrow on I will celebrate Mass with these hosts and I can tell you it’s very touching for me,” Francis wrote.

“Just reading ‘Dear Gabriela’ was a shock for me, as I’m in a place where I am deprived of my freedom,” she told the NOVA interviewer as she showed the pope’s handwritten note.

“In the middle of this darkness … I am proud to know that one can reach the Vatican even from prison,” she added.

Caballero, who has served three years of her sentence, started her small host-making activity in one of the prison’s bathrooms, using old machines given to her and some other convicts by some nuns.

“Our hosts are handcrafted. Today most machines are digital, have a thermostat … Ours have nothing like that,” Caballero said in the interview.

KRE/LEM END SPECIALE

Loading Slideshow...
  • Stealing from the tables of the the poor

    Throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/05/pope-francis-world-environment-day_n_3390299.html" target="_blank">Read more</a>

  • 'Money Has To Serve, Not To Rule!'

    Pope Francis has denounced the global financial system, blasting the "cult of money" that he says is tyrannizing the poor and turning humans into expendable consumer goods. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/pope-francis-global-financial-system-_n_3285442.html?utm_hp_ref=pope-francis" target="_blank">Read more</a>

  • 'Poor Church For The Poor'

    'Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/16/pope-says-wants-poor-church_n_2889991.html" target="_blank">Read more</a>

  • Men And Women Sacrificed To the Idols Of Profit

    Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the "culture of waste." On <a href="http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/06/05/pope_at_audience:_counter_a_culture_of_waste_with_solidarity/en1-698604" target="_blank">World Environment Day</a>

  • 'If Banks Fail It is A Tragedy, If People Die Of Hunger It's Nothing'

    "Today, and it breaks my heart to say it, finding a homeless person who has died of cold, is not news. Today, the news is scandals, that is news, but the many children who don't have food - that's not news. This is grave. We can't rest easy while things are this way." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/18/pope-church-must-help-the-poor_n_3299764.html?utm_hp_ref=pope-francis" target="_blank">Read more </a>

  • 'Slave Labor Goes Against God'

    "A headline that really struck me on the day of the tragedy in Bangladesh was 'Living on 38 euros a month'. That is what the people who died were being paid. This is called slave labour." "Not paying fairly, not giving a job because you are only looking at balance sheets, only looking at how to make a profit. That goes against God!" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/01/pope-francis-slave-labor_n_3191288.html?utm_hp_ref=pope-francis" target="_blank">Read more </a>

  • No More 'Profit At Any Cost'

  • 'Those Most In Need'

  • Choose A Humble Car

    Pope Francis waves to faithful upon his arrival at the Pontiff's residence of Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, Sunday July 14, 2013, in a Ford Focus. The down-to-earth Pope called for greater austerity from religious figures last week, saying, “It hurts me when I see a priest or nun with the latest-model car. You can’t do this. A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but, please, choose a more humble one. If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world." The Ford Focus is a compact car with a starting sticker price of just about $16,000. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/15/pope-francis-car-ford-focus-humble_n_3598402.html" target="_blank">Read more</a>

  • 'Prayer, Humility, Charity'

  • 'The Most Needy'

  • 'Moral And Material Poverty'

  • 'Culture of Waste'

  • On Waste