Pope Francis Holds Private Audience in Rome for Children Whose Letters and Drawings Appear in His First Children’s Book: DEAR POPE FRANCIS

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Last week in Rome, Pope Francis held a private audience for twelve of
the children whose letters and drawings appear in his first and only
children’s book, DEAR
: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around
the World
; March 1, 2016; hardcover). The children who met with Pope
Francis hail from China, Argentina, Belgium, Australia, Singapore,
Kenya, the United States, Canada, the Philippines, India, and Ireland.
And in the private meeting, they each presented Pope Francis with gifts
from their homeland, sang him a song, and had the opportunity to ask him
questions in person. In exchange, Pope Francis greeted and blessed them
individually and presented them with a copy of the book. The children
were also treated to a tour of Rome, along with members of their family.

DEAR POPE FRANCIS consists of the Pope’s personal responses to
thirty hand-written letters and drawings from children ages six to
thirteen from every region of the globe. The global scope of the book is
unprecedented. Six continents and twenty-six countries are represented
and while each region demonstrates its unique aesthetic sensibilities,
many common themes and concerns emerge in the book: intense love for
Pope Francis and curiosity about his life; concerns about the afterlife;
a strong sense of justice, both social and theological; the importance
of family; and a longing to be seen and heard. When first presented with
the questions, Pope Francis remarked, “But these are tough questions!”

, the pope reveals that even small children have big
questions about the world—and beyond. Developed as an international
Jesuit project, DEAR POPE FRANCIS will be published
simultaneously by twelve Jesuit publishers in eleven countries. It is a
book that transcends age and religion and will leave readers feeling
hopeful and inspired.

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Goldberg McDuffie Communications
Kathleen Zrelak, 212-705-4222
& Publicity Director