Pope Francis Shares His Journey Through History in New Book Deal with HarperCollins

Tracy Stengel
Photo byCasa Rosada/Wikimedia Commons

Pope Francis turns 87 years old next month on December 17th. He has lived through many important moments in history and has seen the world change with every era. For the first time, he’s prepared to tell all about it.

Yesterday, HarperCollins announced they would be publishing a new book by Pope Francis entitled Life. My Story Through History in the Spring of 2024. This will be the first time HarperCollins has published a book by Pope Francis and the project is going to go global. Life will be published in the United States, Italy, UK, Canada, Brazil France Germany, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Poland, and South America.

The book will contain Pope Francis’ insight and personal experience of some of the most notable historical events that occurred during his lifetime beginning with the outbreak of World War II in 1939 when he was not quite 3 years old to present day. Life alternates between the voice of Pope Francis and a narrator, Fabio Marchese Ragona, who is an Italian journalist. Ragona will provide historical context for the events Pope Francis describes.

In a press release, Pope Francis said, “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. 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.”

Pope Francis reflects on atrocities that occurred when he was a child such as the Holocaust and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He also shares his thoughts about when man first landed on the moon in 1969 and Videla’s coup in Argentina in 1976.

Pope Francis also has an opinion on the 1986 World Cup’s “Hand of God” goal scored by Diego Maradona. The goal is one of the most controversial goals in World Cup history. If you were rooting for Argentina, it was a skillful and cunning show of athleticism. If you were rooting for England, it was a shameless and scandalous win. Life also covers the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

On September 11, 2001, the people from all over the globe watched their TVs in horror as the Twin Towers fell. Then came the Great Recession in 2008. The world seemed to come to a complete stop in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Consider the wars that have plagued and are plaguing the world, the genocides, the persecutions, the hatred between brothers and sisters of different religions! How much pain!” Pope Francis said. “Having reached a certain age, it is important — also for ourselves — to reopen the book of memories and make memories: to learn by looking back in time, to find the things that are not good, the toxic things we have experienced along with the sins we have committed, but also to relive all the good that God has sent us. It is an exercise in discernment that we should all do before it is too late!”

Pope Francis also weighs in on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the conclave that elected him as pope. He has an important message to share on critical current issues including racism, social inequalities, global warming, war, atomic weapons, and pro-life battles.

“We are honored to be publishing Pope Francis’ book,” said Brian Murray, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers. “From his life in Argentina to his election as the Pontifex of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has lived an exceptional life bearing witness to some of the most defining moments in recent history. We look forward to bringing his story to readers around the world.”

Are you anxious to read about Pope Francis’ life? What historical event do you most want to have his viewpoint? I’d love to read your opinions in the comments!

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Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

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