.- Pope Francis has co-authored a book of reflections on the life of St. John Paul II to be published in Italian.
The book, entitled “St. John Paul the Great,” is the product of a series of conversations between Pope Francis and Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco which took place from June 2019 to January 2020, according to its preface.
The book is expected to be published sometime ahead of the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Karol Wojtyla on May 18.
When Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II in 1978, a 41-year-old Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was serving as the provincial superior of the Jesuits in Argentina. Pope John Paul II appointed Bergoglio to be an auxiliary bishop in 1992, elevating him to become Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and creating him a cardinal in 2001. Pope Francis canonized St. John Paul II in 2014.
The book’s co-author, Fr. Epicoco, 39, has written two dozen books on spirituality since his ordination in 2005, including “John Paul II: Memories of a Holy Pope” which he wrote with Archbishop Piero Marini in 2014. Epicoco is a professor of philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, and offers numerous lectures and spiritual retreats throughout Italy.
The pope is known to admire Fr. Epicoco’s writing. Before Christmas, Francis gave each member of the Roman curia a copy of the Italian priest’s book, “Someone to look up to: A spirituality of witness”.