Okay, Pope Francis probably won’t find time to get to the beach this summer. But maybe you will, and now you have something to read while you sit in the sun.
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera recently published an 11-volume set of Pope Francis’ favorite books. Dubbed “The Library of Pope Francis,” the collection includes some of the Holy Father’s most beloved works, including writings by St. Ignatius of Loyola, Robert Hugh Benson, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
The collection includes:
Late Have I Loved Thee by Ethel Mannin
The Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
El Otro, el mismo by Jorge Luis Borges
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
The Splendor of the Church by Henri de Lubac
“Memoriale” by St. Peter Faber
“On the Priesthood” by St. Augustine
The poetry of Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins
The poetry of Friedrich Holderlin
The poetry of Nino Costa
I have to admit that I’ve only read one of these books in its entirety, but it happens to be one of my favorite books – Late Have I Loved Thee. The novel tells the moving story of a mid-twentieth century English atheist who, after suffering the sudden loss of a loved one, spends the next several years in a desperate search for meaning in all the wrong places. I won’t give away any more, but think Brideshead Revisited meets St. Augustine’s Confessions (from which the novel gets its title).
Unfortunately, the “Library of Pope Francis” is only in Italian as yet, but of course all of the books on the list have been published in English. Most are widely available, although I happen to know that Late Have I Loved Thee is no longer in print and you would have to go Amazon or whatever for that one. Well worth it though.
And now you have your summer reading all planned, by Pope Francis.