Rorate Caeli

The favorite books and spiritual readings of the Pope

From today's edition of Argentine daily La Nación:

Dolores Aleixandre
In his time as Archbishop, Jorge Bergoglio had a selection of books in his nightstand that may give a clue about the Pope's predilections. Of course, they do not comprise all the readings of pope Francis, more varied and numerous. But they are the texts that he uses to recommend to those people who place themselves under his spiritual guidance:

The book that perhaps excites the new pontiff the most is The Lord, by the famous theologian and historian Romano Guardini.

Another favorite author is Spaniard Dolores Aleixandre. She is a sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a theologian at the University of Comillas. Her titles most mentioned by Bergoglio are Baptized with fire [Bautizados con fuego] and Telling Jesus [Contar a Jesús].

Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyen van Thuan, who spent 13 years in the prisons of the Vietnamese regime and is, as himself, a fervorous devotee of Saint Therese of Lisieux, is one of his other favorites. Above all due to Testimony of Hope, the spiritual exercises preached before John Paul II.

Famous Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a Jesuit as he, and deceased in the past year, appears [on the list] with the biblical commentary of Words to live by [Parole per vivere] and Effata, dedicated to social communication.

Another favorite [author] of Francis is Dutchman Henri Nouwen, chaplain of the L'Arche community and author of Return of the Prodigal Son.

Paths of Hope [Wege zur Freiheit], a book close to self-help, is another one recommended by Bergoglio. His author is Benedictine Anselm Grün, a monk who is an expert in finance and business administration.

Spanish priest José Luis Martín Descalzo, who died in 1991, comes up with his book Testament of the Lonely Bird [Testamento del pájaro solitario].

Finally, Ethel Mannin, the author of Late have I loved thee, an English Anarchist pacifist who had a well-known relationship with Bertrand Russell, one of the masters of Atheism.


  1. Goliath grows more fearsome.5:56 PM

    Good Lord! Please cleanse the mind and heart of this pope for he has not been a good steward of his eyes!

  2. Keeping the Pope in my prayers. Praying that he do GOD'S WILL and not his own.

  3. Patrick6:58 PM

    Since VCII there have been legions of priests and bishops brought up on such drivel and who have been inculcated with the certitude that they are the center of the Mass (hardly ever presiding over any other ceremonies)and that their personal whims, emotions and flights of fantasy were at least touched by the Holy Spirit if not directly from Him. Now we have one who sits on the papal throne. All I can say about truly humble people is that they are the first to deny that they are in any way humble at all. They go out of their way not to "act" humble. The last pope was like that regardless of how they dressed him up. This one seems to have made a career of projecting humility but there is an odd unsettling hardness of purpose behind the facade. One would have thought that he would dislike such things baroque - facades that is.

  4. ProfKwasniewski7:37 PM

    Guardini's "The Lord" is one of the finest books written in modern times. I'm glad to hear it's one of his favorites.

  5. Anonymous11:41 PM

    I looked up Ethel Mannin, who I had never heard of. She was a leftist (anarchist, whatever). The book that Bergoglio is said to have had of hers is entitled "Late Have I Loved Thee." It is out of print. One description that I found of it says that it "depicted a man's conversion to Catholicism and vocation to the priesthood."

  6. "Guardini a été le professeur du jeune Josef Ratzinger à Munich. Celui-ci, devenu le pape Benoît XVI, se réfère très fréquemment à son ancien maître. Il reprend par exemple le titre L'esprit de la liturgie pour un de ses propres ouvrages, et revendique la concordance de leurs projets."

  7. TrueReligion4:39 AM

    If it is assumed that a man agrees with every book he reads then how are we to allow a man to understand an opposing point of view since he has no opportunity to hear it? This is beside the fact that a bishop has the grace of discerning spirits proper to his office. He is hardly a seminarian that one must bar from the hell section of the library.

    For "Goliath..." to accuse the pope of not being a good steward of his eyes is a presumptuous assertion if not wicked.


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