2 Pope Books…as we await the Big Day!

2 pope books

I was so happy to receive these two little books for review from Franciscan Media. True to their titles, they are great, short biographies of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

With under 50 pages, each 6″x5″ book offers a nice review of each Pope’s life, showing how the events of their lives shaped their values and priorities and how their leadership and teachings as Pope have shaped our Catholic Church and Faith.

Although familiar with many of the events of  Pope John Paul II‘s life including the early loss of his mother, then brother, then father, I enjoyed reading more detail about the Holy Father’s call to the priesthood and his remarkable journey to Pope, his role in the collapse of Soviet Communism, his personal experience with redemptive suffering, his forgiveness of his would-be assassin, his opposition to the viruses of secularism, consumerism and materialism, his devotion to Our Lady…and his dedication to the youth and their evangelization.

I was much less familiar with the life and legacy of Pope John XXIII. He seemed to be underestimated for much of his early life and then disfavored by the current pope when he insisted on the Church’s responsibility for social justice and recommended textual and historical analysis of Scripture (rejected as “modernist” by Pope Pius X). He was responsible for saving the lives of nearly twenty five thousand Jews, by smuggling them out of Nazi-occupied lands. As Cardinal, he called for a spirit of cooperation between Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants and suggested that the Catholic Church had plenty to repent for. Once again underestimated, many expected a short and unimpressive reign when he was elected Pope, maintaining the status quo. Five days later, he raised the idea of an ecumenical council to renew the Church. Recognizing that he may not have much time, he released 8 encyclicals, 5 of them released within the first year or two of his 4.5 year papacy.

These are nice books…with a good amount of information to familiarize ourselves with the newest Saints in the Catholic Church…and perfect travel size for those attending the canonization on April 27!

Will you be in Rome for the canonization?

St Gemma’s Catholic Pilgrimages will be there…staying just a 7 minute walk from St Peter’s!

What makes St Gemma’s Catholic Pilgrimages different from a regular vacation? Read more…at Catholic Culture!

I’m going to Rome September 22-Oct 3! Want to come too?

Check out this Fall Pilgrimage with Monica and Fr Scott McCaig!

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