Pope 'profoundly saddened' by migrants' drowning in Rio Grande
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Pope FrancisPope FrancisPope to miss three upcoming events due to sciatic leg pain Pope says he prays God guides Biden's reconciliation efforts Pope Francis gets COVID-19 vaccine MORE on Wednesday announced his sorrow after seeing a photo that spread virally of a Salvadorian man and his 23-month-old daughter lying dead in the Rio Grande River after trying to cross into the United States.  

“With immense sadness, the Holy Father has seen the images of the father and his baby daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande River,” Vatican spokesperson Alessandro Gisotti said, according to Reuters.

“The Pope is profoundly saddened by their death, and is praying for them and for all migrants who have lost their lives while seeking to flee war and misery,” the spokesperson said.


The photo shows the man, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, and his daughter, Valeria, face down in the river. Valeria is tucked into her father’s shirt.

It was taken by journalist Julia Le Duc and published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada, The Associated Press reported.

Ramírez tried to cross the river Sunday with his daughter and wife, Tania Vanessa Ávalos. Ramírez and his daughter drowned while he was trying to save her from a current, Ávalos told police, the AP reported.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, put the photo on its front page Wednesday.