Pope Francis to release an autobiography in the spring

Pope Francis presides over his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Oct. 18, 2023. / Credit: Vatican Media

Vatican City, Nov 8, 2023 / 06:45 am (CNA).

Pope Francis will publish an autobiography next year in which he recounts memories of historical events from the outbreak of World War II to the collapse of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11.

HarperCollins Publishers announced Tuesday that it will publish the pope’s book, “Life, My Story Through History,” in the spring of 2024 in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.

“In this book we tell a story, the story of my life, through the most important and dramatic events that humanity has experienced over the past eighty years,” Pope Francis said in a statement released by the publisher on Nov. 7.

“This book was written so that people, especially younger people, can listen to the voice of an elderly person and reflect on what our planet has experienced, so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

The book was co-written by Vatican journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona, who interviewed Pope Francis for Italian television specials in 2021 and 2022 and recently published a book in Italian about exorcists featuring anecdotes from the pope.

According to HarperCollins, the book will feature the pope’s recollections of the start of World War II, the Nazi campaign to exterminate the Jews, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the collapse of the Twin Towers, the great economic recession of 2008, the resignation of Benedict XVI, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Born in 1936 in Argentina, Pope Francis was only two years old when Nazi Germany invaded Poland launching World War II, and eight years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Jesuit archbishop of Buenos Aires was made a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in February 2001, just months before the Sept. 11 attacks, and served as president of the Argentine bishops’ conference in 2008. He was 76 years old when he was elected pope following the historic resignation of Benedict XVI.

The pope’s book, which is not classified as a memoir, will also touch on current global issues, including abortion, racial discrimination, climate change, atomic weapons, war, and social inequalities.

Pope Francis has authored numerous books, including a book-length interview with a Spanish missionary entitled “The Strength of Vocation” in 2018, “Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future” in 2020, and an interview with an Italian psychologist called “Fear as a Gift” in 2023.

The pope’s first book, “The Name of God is Mercy: A Conversation with Andrea Tornielli,” became a New York Times bestseller in 2016.

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