Tuesday, October 6, 2015


No doubt that the visit of Pope Francis to the United States was a memorable event for those who attended events where he spoke, those who stood on road sides waiting to catch a glimpse of him and for those who watched from home. The interest in Pope Francis seems to extend beyond that of Catholics and has rekindled a parallel interest in the history of the Church and the men who have led it. Look for books on these topics on at the Monrovia Public Library. 

The Church of Mercy is a collection of the sermons, speeches and writings of Pope Francis during his first papal year. The book addresses such topics as hope, faith and the poor. The chapters are short and should be appreciated by readers looking for spiritual guidance.

Two biographies of Pope Francis, both in Spanish, are available. Un Aire Nuevo: Francisco, Un Papa Sorprendente by Carlos Vallejo and Francisco: Vida y Revolution by Elisabetta Piqu. Both cover his youth, Jesuit career, election to the papacy and his personal attributes of humility and humor.
Library users looking for more information on the popes might want to read Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes by Charles Couloumbe, which includes biographies of each pope and supplies many anecdotes about the times in which they ruled. Readers looking for an explanation of Catholic doctrine, history and personalities should read Robert Barron’s Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of its Faith.
AWitness to Hope: Biography of John Paul II by George Weigel examines the life of this pope from Poland who was known for his anti-communist and ecumenical activities. Another pope who captured the imagination of the world was Pope John Paul II, who visited Los Angeles in 1987.

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