“Life, My Story Through History”: a new book on life of Pope Francis

By Vatican News, 18 November 2023
An image of Pope Francis following his election as Pope in March 2013. Image: Vatican News


A new book about Pope Francis’ life, authored by Fabio Marchese Ragona, will be published by HarperCollins in countries throughout Europe and the Americas in the Northern spring of 2024, featuring personal events from his life and the great events that have marked the 20th century up to the present day.

“Life, My Story Through History”, is the title of Pope Francis’ new book in which he recounts for the first time the story of his life through the events that have marked the world, from the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 when he was almost three years old, to the present day.

The book will be published by HarperCollins Publishers, which made the announcement on 7 November.

Developed with HarperCollins Italy, the book represents a global project for the publisher that will come out in the spring of 2024 in Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Spain and South America.

Events that changed the world

This is the first time New York-based publisher HarperCollins has published a book by Pope Francis.

“Life, My Story Through History,” citing a HarperCollins Italy press release of 7 November  “is an extraordinary journey through the decades to retrace the most significant moments of our times, through the personal memories of the Pope. These include: the fall of the Berlin Wall, Videla’s coup d’état in Argentina, the moon landing in 1969 and even the 1986 World Cup where Maradona scored the goal that went down in history as the ‘mano de Dios.'”

The publication consists of memoirs of a priest who, from his very personal point of view, recounts the years of the Nazi extermination of the Jews, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the great economic recession of 2008, the collapse of the Twin Towers, the pandemic, the resignation of Benedict XVI and the conclave that elected him Pope with the name of Francis. Events that, one reads, “intertwine with the life of the ‘Callejero Pope’ who exceptionally reopens the treasure chest of his memories to recount, with his trademark frankness, those moments that changed the world.”

The latest topics and themes

At the same time, Pope Francis shares important views on the latest topics and current events: social inequality, the climate crisis, war, atomic weapons, racial discrimination, and battles in favour of life.

The Pope’s voice alternates with that of narrator, Fabio Marchese Ragona, a ‘Vaticanista‘ journalist for the Mediaset television group, who in each chapter describes the historical context in which the Pope lived.

Remembering to avoid repeating mistakes

The press release on the book shares some of what the Pope had to say on the book.

“In this book we tell a story, the story of my life, through the most important and serious events that humanity has experienced over the last eighty years. It is a book that sees the light so that, especially the younger generation, can listen to the voice of an elderly man and reflect on what our world has experienced, so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Let us think, for example, of the wars that have plagued and still plague the world. Let us think of the genocides, the persecutions, the hatred between brothers and sisters of different religions! How much suffering! Having reached a certain age, it is important, even for ourselves, to reopen the book of memories and make remembrance: to learn by looking back, to identify the things that are not good, the toxic things that we have experienced along with the sins we have committed, but also to relive all that God has sent us that is good. It is an exercise in discernment that we should all do, before it is too late!”

An honour to share this story

“We are honoured to publish Pope Francis’ book,” said Brian Murray, president and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers. “From his life in Argentina to his election as Pontiff of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has lived an exceptional life, witnessing some of the most decisive moments in recent history. We look forward to bringing his story to readers around the world.”

With thanks to Vatican News, where this article originally appeared.


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