Thursday, June 13, 2013

Putnam Press: Pope Francis - Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio

Today, at Stuart's Study, I am highlighting another book about Pope Francis. You may recall that last month I spotlighted On Heaven and Earth.  I am doing a mini-countdown of my Top 3 books about Pope Francis, so be sure to tune in next month when I review my #1 choice. This month is I am reviewing my #2 choice for Pope Francis books, and it is called Pope Francis - Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio.

Pope Francis - Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio was the only biography available at the time of the papal election. However, in my opinion, it is the closest thing to an autobiography you will read about our new Holy Father. Each chapter starts off by providing the reader detailed information about various times or instances in Pope Francis' life. Then, there is my favorite part - a question and answer session.

The book begins by discussing Pope Francis' grandmother and the story of why the family moved from Italy to Argentina. We then move on and read about Pope Francis' first job, which leads to the development of his view on work and the homeless. Next, we learn about a time where he was so ill that he almost died. I could work my way through every chapter and tell you what they are about, but you get the idea.

Many people will buy and read this book for the biography alone. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is why I originally wanted to read it. It contained a lot of Pope Francis' life story in his own words, but there is so much wisdom in this book as well. One quote that stood out to me was on pain. It said, "Pain is not a virtue in itself, but you can be virtuous in the way you bear it." This was very profound to me, and there are gems like this scattered throughout the book.

If you have been keeping up with Pope Francis via the news, then you will know how humble this great man is. It should come as no surprise that his humility was present before he became pope and can be seen in his answers to the interview questions. However, one also gets to see Pope Francis' brilliance. I can't even begin to fathom how daunting a task it must be to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, one of the greatest theologian popes ever, but one can see that Pope Francis is no theological slouch either.

If you want to get a glimpse of the personal life of Pope Francis before he was Pope Francis, this 5 star book is for you. You will get to see details of his life that otherwise would have been unknown. You will also get to see key events in his life that shaped his views and made him the man he is today. Most importantly, it's in HIS OWN WORDS! That's what truly makes this book awesome and my #2 pick for books about Pope Francis.

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