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In Italy, they call him il Papa, which means “The Father.” Until his unprecedented election, author and friend Elisabetta Piqué called him Padre Jorge. He may have changed his name to become Pope Francis, but it did not change their friendship. Since Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis in 2013, countless books have been written to help the world understand this deepl In Italy, they call him il Papa, which means “The Father.” Until his unprecedented election, author and friend Elisabetta Piqué called him Padre Jorge. He may have changed his name to become Pope Francis, but it did not change their friendship. Since Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis in 2013, countless books have been written to help the world understand this deeply complex yet simple servant of God. What sets Pope Francis: Life and Revolution apart from all other biographies of Pope Francis is the careful research and original investigation behind it, along with the fact that it is written by an internationally respected journalist—Elisabetta Piqué—who has remained close to the Pope since first meeting him back in 2001. Over 75 individuals were interviewed for Pope Francis: Life and Revolution, including lay people, priests, bishops, and cardinals who have known or worked with Francis at various times in his life. Insights from these people, as well as from friends and family members, allow us to see a profoundly personal side of the Pope. His humility and humanity, courage and conviction, and warmth and wisdom are revealed as Piqué shares little-known episodes from Francis’s life. With a foreword by Cardinal Seán O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Pope Francis: Life and Revolution is the definitive resource and narrative of a man personally known by few and revered and respected by many. Pope Francis: Life and Revolution reveals a man consistent in his beliefs and actions. He is a spiritual leader unwavering in his love for God, whose inner joy and peace move him—and can inspire us—to serve the least, the last, and the lost. Also available in Spanish! El Papa Francisco: vida y revolución


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In Italy, they call him il Papa, which means “The Father.” Until his unprecedented election, author and friend Elisabetta Piqué called him Padre Jorge. He may have changed his name to become Pope Francis, but it did not change their friendship. Since Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis in 2013, countless books have been written to help the world understand this deepl In Italy, they call him il Papa, which means “The Father.” Until his unprecedented election, author and friend Elisabetta Piqué called him Padre Jorge. He may have changed his name to become Pope Francis, but it did not change their friendship. Since Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis in 2013, countless books have been written to help the world understand this deeply complex yet simple servant of God. What sets Pope Francis: Life and Revolution apart from all other biographies of Pope Francis is the careful research and original investigation behind it, along with the fact that it is written by an internationally respected journalist—Elisabetta Piqué—who has remained close to the Pope since first meeting him back in 2001. Over 75 individuals were interviewed for Pope Francis: Life and Revolution, including lay people, priests, bishops, and cardinals who have known or worked with Francis at various times in his life. Insights from these people, as well as from friends and family members, allow us to see a profoundly personal side of the Pope. His humility and humanity, courage and conviction, and warmth and wisdom are revealed as Piqué shares little-known episodes from Francis’s life. With a foreword by Cardinal Seán O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Pope Francis: Life and Revolution is the definitive resource and narrative of a man personally known by few and revered and respected by many. Pope Francis: Life and Revolution reveals a man consistent in his beliefs and actions. He is a spiritual leader unwavering in his love for God, whose inner joy and peace move him—and can inspire us—to serve the least, the last, and the lost. Also available in Spanish! El Papa Francisco: vida y revolución

30 review for Pope Francis: Life and Revolution: A Biography of Jorge Bergoglio

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    I enjoyed reading this book because of the subject matter of the biography and the insights that the author was able to provide. However, it was a disappointing book for a variety of reasons. The author portrayed herself as a close confidant of the current Pope, but that was never clearly explained nor did she appear to have any remarkable insight into his life or personality. The book seemed to be a collection of chronological anecdotes written from a journalists perspective. Additionally, the I enjoyed reading this book because of the subject matter of the biography and the insights that the author was able to provide. However, it was a disappointing book for a variety of reasons. The author portrayed herself as a close confidant of the current Pope, but that was never clearly explained nor did she appear to have any remarkable insight into his life or personality. The book seemed to be a collection of chronological anecdotes written from a journalists perspective. Additionally, the entire book was written in the present tense, which was both irritating and moderately confusing. I was very disappointed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Elisabetta Pique is a journalist who has known the pope for many years, calling him Papa Jorge in the early pages of the book and their history as acquaintances. She not only tells the stories of the Pope as a young man, but continues to put his life and ministry in the context of history and his culture. This is an interesting although, at times, ponderous read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Clem

    One of the many fascinating things about the life of Jesus Christ is that we are taught that he was fully God and fully human at the same time. I have to wonder at times, what did the “human” Jesus think about his destiny on earth as the son of God? Was he happy that he was the Chosen One? What struggles did “human” Jesus have? Did he ever wish that he could just be like everyone else? I certainly don’t think he welcomed the fact that he was to be crucified in the most barbaric way possible for One of the many fascinating things about the life of Jesus Christ is that we are taught that he was fully God and fully human at the same time. I have to wonder at times, what did the “human” Jesus think about his destiny on earth as the son of God? Was he happy that he was the Chosen One? What struggles did “human” Jesus have? Did he ever wish that he could just be like everyone else? I certainly don’t think he welcomed the fact that he was to be crucified in the most barbaric way possible for the sins of mankind. Sure, the “God” side of him understood, but the “human” side? I mention this because in many ways this seems to be the attitude of Argentinian Bishop Jorge Bergoglio when voices start to speculate that he might be elected the next Supreme Pontiff after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Bergoglio is too old, he feels. In fact, he’s already “retired”. Such aspirations simply don’t enter such a humble priest’s mind who simply wants to be among his people and help feed the poor and needy. You would think most cardinals of the Catholic Church, or ANY leaders of a Christian group would feel the same way, yet history and nature tell a different story. After all, who wouldn’t want to be the “leader” of such an institution? No matter how pious one feels his heart to be, the temptation to be center stage is just too grand for most. Imagine a person being elected President of the U.S. who never campaigned, never even made a speech, and even told the constituents he didn’t want the job, yet gets elected anyway. I know. Impossible. The first three chapters of this wonderful biography show us a wonderful exception, and arguably one of the most Christ-like leaders in history. Author Elisabetta Pique has an advantage in that she knows Bergoglio; she’s a journalist who has covered much of his activity over the years. It’s obvious that she loves the man and holds him in very high regard. Sometimes when I read biographies, I don’t always see this as a good thing. A well-written biography needs to show an honest picture of the subject, and not portray him in some bright, shiny hagiographic fashion. Yet one comes away with the feeling that her sentiments about Bergoglio are genuine. She sees this man as most of the world sees him, and is delighted when he is elected Pope Francis in 2013. After the first few chapters that show the transition from Cardinal Bergoglio to Pope Francis, we then go back to the beginning. We don’t read much about Bergoglio’s early life, but we get enough to understand his nature and how his surroundings and devotion to God shape his early life. We read a lot about the crooked Argentinian regime where Bergoglio resides, and politics and religion don’t always make good bedfellows. We read accounts where Bergoglio risks his own life to save many renegade priests as well as continue to feed the poor and the needy. This is a man truly devoted to his mission. To be honest, the part of the book that deals with most of Bergoglio’s travails in native Argentina could be a bit overwhelming to a reader such as myself who isn’t very familiar with the politics nor the surroundings. There are a lot of Argentinian names of people and places thrown about, and it was hard for me to keep everything assimilated. There’s also an awful lot of Roman Catholic nomenclature here as well, and one not familiar with the many different titles and traditions may feel a bit overwhelmed as well. The last third of the book goes back to the beginning, and we see the beginning of the reign of Pope Francis. Sadly, there’s still a lot of politics around, and those in power aren’t quite sure what to think of a pope who refuses to live in his glorious penthouse, electing instead to reside in modest quarters for many of the lower rungs of the ladder. This is a man who also refuses to use the “pope” limousine and chauffeur. He elects, instead, to drive his old Ford Focus around while carrying his own briefcase. Such a humble man can be dangerous to the powerful establishment. This part of the book, though, is the most refreshing. It gives one hope. In an era of so much turmoil, distrust, and abuse, it truly gives one confidence to see that there is still goodness in the world. When such goodness is elevated to the top position in the Catholic Church, you can’t help but hope and pray that such materialistic trends can reverse, and a sense of decency and goodness can perhaps prevail. We don’t get to read too much about his papal initiatives though. A slight drawback to this book is that it was written only one year into Francis’s papacy. So 20 years from now, one won’t really be able to look back at this book as being the “definitive” biography. There will still be so much more to tell. Most hope that the reforms of Francis will continue to focus on grace, charity, and goodness while pushing dogma and rigidness a bit further down on the priority meter. In an era with so much darkness in the hearts of people and their leaders, one hopes that this man’s light of optimism and compassion will continue to shine, becoming brighter and brighter. One can hope. And one can pray. ad majorem Dei gloriam!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Ulicny

    I got this book after watching the two popes on Netflix and wanting to learn more about Pope Francis’ life. This book does a phenomenal job walking through the hard to grasp political affairs and gives great detail of the historical context of the Argentinian Dirty Wars. This isn’t necessarily a feel good after you read it but definitely uncovers the life of Pope Francis and provides context into how good and pure of a man he truly is, who has had to sail through turbulent waters his since his c I got this book after watching the two popes on Netflix and wanting to learn more about Pope Francis’ life. This book does a phenomenal job walking through the hard to grasp political affairs and gives great detail of the historical context of the Argentinian Dirty Wars. This isn’t necessarily a feel good after you read it but definitely uncovers the life of Pope Francis and provides context into how good and pure of a man he truly is, who has had to sail through turbulent waters his since his call

  5. 5 out of 5

    Regina Edwards

    The real Pope Francis shines through this biography I have been a concert to the faith since 1969 and was inspired to do so by two people. Firstly my fiance (My wife of 50yrs) and secondly Pope John XX111. To me he seem of the people and for the people and before I knew anything of Vatican 11, I was touched by his life. Since then I have visited Assisi especially the garden of St Francis and now have a great devotion to this most humble of saints who devoted his life to the poor and matginalised. The real Pope Francis shines through this biography I have been a concert to the faith since 1969 and was inspired to do so by two people. Firstly my fiance (My wife of 50yrs) and secondly Pope John XX111. To me he seem of the people and for the people and before I knew anything of Vatican 11, I was touched by his life. Since then I have visited Assisi especially the garden of St Francis and now have a great devotion to this most humble of saints who devoted his life to the poor and matginalised. I studied for a degree in Religious Studies in my early sixties and as part of my studies I read Leonardo Hoff especially and Liberation Theology in general. I only mention all these things to explain why I have been fundamental moved by the picture of Pope Francis that has been painted in this book. It has once again led me to a deeper insight in Our Lord Jesus Christ and to do some physical act to support the poor.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Very interesting and in depth look at the life and politics of a man, Jorge who wanted to be a priest and then obviously went on to become Pope Francis. At times it showed that even within the Catholic Church bullying is very much a problem. But the book also shows the resilience of the person who was bullied. If like me, all you knew about Pope Francis was that he is Pope Francis, this book is a must read. I admired the man before I read this book but now I am in awe of his courage and determin Very interesting and in depth look at the life and politics of a man, Jorge who wanted to be a priest and then obviously went on to become Pope Francis. At times it showed that even within the Catholic Church bullying is very much a problem. But the book also shows the resilience of the person who was bullied. If like me, all you knew about Pope Francis was that he is Pope Francis, this book is a must read. I admired the man before I read this book but now I am in awe of his courage and determination. Very enjoyable book and I would highly recommend it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Ballantine

    Finding a good biography on a living Pope must be the hardest task in the world. There are some good details in this book, but overall, this is nothing but worshiping memoir of a great man. There are no complexities in his character brought out of which there are many that make him in my mind such a great leader and man. Lots of quotes saying how spiritual he is, but very boring read overall.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mariano

    Extraordinario libro de Elisabetta Piqué, una de las mejores periodistas "vaticanistas". Extraordinario libro de Elisabetta Piqué, una de las mejores periodistas "vaticanistas".

  9. 4 out of 5

    John DeRosa

    His leadership is on display - humility, service in the field, a Shepard with his flock- throughout his life well before the Vatican.

  10. 5 out of 5

    James Even

    At about the half way mark and my star rating for this book is falling. To be fair,I have learned some of what makes up Pope Francis' life and some possible roots to his pastoral approach that have been informative and inspiring to where I will be working to exercise some of those methods and approaches into my own ministerial life with God's help of course. That being said, it has been a rough go of it to get those points in any deeper of a context than just a little more than sound byte quality At about the half way mark and my star rating for this book is falling. To be fair,I have learned some of what makes up Pope Francis' life and some possible roots to his pastoral approach that have been informative and inspiring to where I will be working to exercise some of those methods and approaches into my own ministerial life with God's help of course. That being said, it has been a rough go of it to get those points in any deeper of a context than just a little more than sound byte quality and the way in which the book is written in general makes it difficult to follow. I am not terribly familiar with biographies, but my assumption would be that they tend to follow some kind of logical if not chronological order. This one seems to follow neither. There is an undercurrent of linear time (that moves like tectonic shift) but on the surface it is turbulent with so much time jumping that it is hard to follow. Given the chapter titles, it would also appear to be organized in logical main events in Pope Francis' life, but these chapters are a coagulation of smaller events and quotes from people that seem to sidetrack any main point she may have been trying to make. The two of these mixed together make it difficult to see the true genius in the Pope and each chapter has been like a panning for gold, sifting through the muck of conspiracy theory and swirling mass of time and subject changes to find the Pope as he is and how he grew to be who he is. I have not given up on this yet but I have no fears that the rest will probably be more of the same.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Written by an Argentine who happens to be a personal friend of the Pope, this book borders on hagiography, BUT - it's a good read, and though it's not warts and all, it's a compelling picture of a Pope who takes the words of Christ to St. Francis, "Francis, heal my church," as his marching orders. People may wonder what all the fuss is about, but to have a person elevated to this degree who has a working moral compass, feet on the ground, a kind heart, and a spine of steel, is the best news this Written by an Argentine who happens to be a personal friend of the Pope, this book borders on hagiography, BUT - it's a good read, and though it's not warts and all, it's a compelling picture of a Pope who takes the words of Christ to St. Francis, "Francis, heal my church," as his marching orders. People may wonder what all the fuss is about, but to have a person elevated to this degree who has a working moral compass, feet on the ground, a kind heart, and a spine of steel, is the best news this poor blue planet has had in a long time. Francis is moving so fast this book is already behind. What he's recently done with the Vatican Bank, and the truly awful Curia is rocking the Barque of Peter like a holy typhoon. Revolution. The word is the conclave doesn't always get what it expects. When they chose JPII they thought they had a moderate and he turned out to be an arch-conservative, now with Francis they thought they were getting a liberal but they have a revolutionary. Let it be so. I'm also going to read: The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope. I like this guy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Luis

    Elisabetta Piqué aborda la vida de Jorge Bergoglio, papa Francisco, de forma clara y directa, dando una exposición documentada por el testimonio de quienes participaron en los diversos acontecimientos relatados. Amiga del papa, no rehúye los aspectos de Bergoglio envueltos en polémica, poniendo luz sobre el origen de las diversas controversias. Un libro bien escrito, ágil y clarificador sobre la vida de un jesuíta, un obispo bonaerense que ha destacado notablemente como obispo de Roma desde el pr Elisabetta Piqué aborda la vida de Jorge Bergoglio, papa Francisco, de forma clara y directa, dando una exposición documentada por el testimonio de quienes participaron en los diversos acontecimientos relatados. Amiga del papa, no rehúye los aspectos de Bergoglio envueltos en polémica, poniendo luz sobre el origen de las diversas controversias. Un libro bien escrito, ágil y clarificador sobre la vida de un jesuíta, un obispo bonaerense que ha destacado notablemente como obispo de Roma desde el primer momento de su elección. Viendo su recorrido vital, Elisabetta nos muestra que no hay impostura en los gestos, palabras y mensaje del papa, y sí sorpresa en la facilidad de comunicación y la alegria que manifiesta desde el día de su eleccción como romano pontífice.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dina Tanners

    I have admired Pope Francis and wanted to learn more about him, so chose this book on the recommendation of others and its reviews. I must admit that since I am Jewish and with some but less knowledge of Catholicism, I did skim through some of the intricacies of the "politics" within the Catholic church, but I did find the book educational and informative about the life and values of Pope Francis and a bit more about the changes that occurred as Jorge Bergoglio was chosen to become this pope. It I have admired Pope Francis and wanted to learn more about him, so chose this book on the recommendation of others and its reviews. I must admit that since I am Jewish and with some but less knowledge of Catholicism, I did skim through some of the intricacies of the "politics" within the Catholic church, but I did find the book educational and informative about the life and values of Pope Francis and a bit more about the changes that occurred as Jorge Bergoglio was chosen to become this pope. It definitely was worth reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    SharonJH Harman

    My purpose in reading was to find out about Pope Francis' background and what had shaped him to have such deep compassion for the poor. Because it is written by a journalist who knew him in Argentina, it is full of stories that give an insight into his character. I loved learning about him, but I am giving it 4 stars because it is a bit difficult to follow at times: not written linearly and also seems to change tenses quite a bit, which was confusing. My purpose in reading was to find out about Pope Francis' background and what had shaped him to have such deep compassion for the poor. Because it is written by a journalist who knew him in Argentina, it is full of stories that give an insight into his character. I loved learning about him, but I am giving it 4 stars because it is a bit difficult to follow at times: not written linearly and also seems to change tenses quite a bit, which was confusing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rhina Guidos

    Did anyone who wrote a review read this? What a bore. I didn't think someone could make him boring, but I couldn't get past the first two chapters because she talks about herself so much, her analysis, why she knew (hindsight) that he was going to be the pope. I couldn't get through her narcissism. Thank God I didn't pay for this book. Did anyone who wrote a review read this? What a bore. I didn't think someone could make him boring, but I couldn't get past the first two chapters because she talks about herself so much, her analysis, why she knew (hindsight) that he was going to be the pope. I couldn't get through her narcissism. Thank God I didn't pay for this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lex

    This was a very good book. It was a mostly-easy read (though there was lots of Italian lingo), and it was enjoyable. Good to learn the basic biography of the current Pope.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bill J Marion

    Very detailed Good book. Was a little long for me. Did portray a pope I wanted to know more about. Interesting book

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emilia

    A great book that inspires. A leader that do before saying

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gerald Murphy

    Very god read

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Camacho

  21. 4 out of 5

    James E Thomas

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bob Buhr

  23. 4 out of 5

    Piotr Michna

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leah Martin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  26. 4 out of 5

    Allison

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sister Janet

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Sherman

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heyder

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dale

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