Publication of the memoirs of John Paul II on his experiences as a bishop

Source: FSSPX News


The Vatican publishing bookshop has relinquished its rights to the work, for an undisclosed sum, to the Italian publishing group Mondadori, owned by Silvio Berlusconi, and already the publisher in 1994 of Crossing the Threshold of Hope. As for the rights of the author, they will be paid into the pope’s charitable works account. In 1994, these funds made possible, among other things, the building of an Orthodox Church in the Balkans, said Joaquin Navarro-Valls, spokesman for the Holy See. – Crossing the Threshold of Hope, in collaboration with the journalist Vittorio Messori, sold 20 million copies, in 50 editions and in 32 languages.

For Alzatevi, andiamo, Mondadori plans an initial printing of 280,000 copies. The first planned translations will be in English, French, Spanish and German, besides the original Polish version.

This collection of recollections by John Paul II includes autobiographical elements about Karol Wojtyla, bishop at Vatican II, archbishop of Krakow and even bishop of Rome. These form the basis of a reflection by the Sovereign Pontiff on the pastoral life of bishops, strewn with pitfalls. In spite of these difficulties, the former archbishop of Krakow was always a willing listener, and the door of his residence was open to everyone, as he made it his duty to meet his flock.

Get up! Let us go! – a phrase taken from the gospel according to Saint Mark (14: 42) – is a continuation of the teaching of the pope who, in 1996, published My Vocation, Gift and Mystery, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination, in which he shares his experiences as a priest. “He received, at the time, many messages from religious all over the world, thanking him for having thrown so much light on their own vocations and on the burden of their ministry,” said Joaquin Navarro-Valls. On this occasion, according to the Vatican spokesman, “two factors pushed John Paul II to write this new volume: the 45th anniversary of his episcopal ordination and the 25th anniversary of his pontificate, as well as his reflection on the episcopal magisterium”.

The pope himself, wrote or dictated this book between March and August 2003, went on Joaquin Navarro Valls, when time allowed him” “John Paul II thinks before writing, thus his phrases are clear and fluid, and no, or very little correction is necessary, consequently” said the director of the Vatican press office, who insisted on the Sovereign Pontiff’s syntax, “a style which is not artificial, neither simplistic, but direct. The pope found the right words to speak to everyone, and to bear witness to his experience.”

Moreover, Joaquin Navarro-Valls stated emphatically that this book should not be considered as a “kind of last will and testament”. Asked about the pope’s future editorial plans, the spokesman for the Holy See answered that John Paul II “has written a lot and continues to write” without wishing to say more on the possibility of a book drawn from his experience of totalitarianism in Europe.