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Have You Read These Books by the Popes Yet?

We also list the reads they highly recommend!

What do the popes like to read? As it turns out, they have similar tastes!

In an article on the reads recommended by the Holy Pontiffs, the following books made the cut: Alessandro Manzoni’s The Betrothed (Pope Francis read it three times and Pope Paul VI wrote a letter on the centennial of Manzoni’s death); Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov (both Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II have referred to it in their respective talks, and Pope Francis simply said, “I love very much Dostoyevsky”); and Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World (“I suggest you read it,” says Lolo Kiko). 

Interestingly, books written by popes are on a lot of people’s reading lists, too. Check out the four books listed below!

Happiness in This Life: A Passionate Meditation on Earthly Existence by Pope Francis (2017)

Photos from Russavia / Wikipedia and Goodreads

Composed of extracts from his homilies and speeches, this book serves as a daily devotional to many who own it. Meditate on such messages as “True joy comes from a profound harmony among people”, “Never be afraid to attempt the journey, to venture outside yourselves”, “We will always be [God’s] children no matter how terribly we act”, and “One who clings to God never fails!”  (Read: 3 Books to Feed Your Curiosity About Catholic Saints)

Available on Amazon

In My Own Words by Pope John Paul II (1998)

Photos from Today’s Catholic and Goodreads

With such chapters as “Faith, Hope, and Love,” “The Christian Life,” “Marriage and the Family,” “Progress and the Modern World,” and “The Priesthood,” among others, this book is a compilation of the timeless reflections of the beloved pope and saint. “What really matters in life,” he said, “is that we are loved by Christ, and that we love Him in return.” (Read: Poland opens ‘John Paul II Institute of Culture’ to honor the Saint Pope)

Available on Amazon.  

Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI (2007)

Photos from Biography and

In what the Pope Emeritus calls “my personal search for the face of the Lord,” this book is the first of a series that introduces readers to the life of Jesus and His reason for being.  “But what has Jesus really brought, then, if he has not brought world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world,” wrote Pope Benedict XVI.

“The answer is very simple: God. He has brought God! Jesus has brought God and with God the truth about where we are going and where we come from: faith, hope, and love.” (Read: You Won’t Be Able To Guess How These Popes Spent Their Free Times)

Just for Today by Pope John XXIII (2015)

Photos from Wikipedia and AbeBooks

Also known as “the Good Pope,” Pope John XXIII put together his personal Ten Commandments of simple and earnest reminders that anyone can live by. Among them, “Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once” and “Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.” Illustrations by Bimba Landmann make this a charming read for all ages.

Available on Amazon

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