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New book of papal poems for publication

A new book of poetry by Pope John Paul II - called a a mediation on religion - will be released by a publishing house owned by his former diocese in Poland.

No date has been set for the publishing of The Roman Triptych, John Paul's first poetic work since becoming pontiff in 1978.

The first section of the three-part book is called "The Stream," the second refers to Michelangelo's art at the Vatican's Sistine Chapel and the third is a poetic mediation on the biblical story of Abraham, according to the Catholic Information Agency.

The Holy Father composed the poetry while holidaying at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome. Prior to becoming pope, John Paul published poems, plays and philosophical essays.

Fr Antoni Swierczek, head of the Krakow Archdiocese's St. Stanislaw publishing house, told the Information Agency that it could take time to publish the slim volume because officials wanted it to be "as beautiful as possible."

John Paul's Polish aides at the Vatican confirmed last month that the papal book will be published first in the southern Polish city of Krakow, where he spent four decades as a student, priest, bishop and cardinal before becoming pope.

During the 1990s, he published the best-selling Crossing the Threshold of Hope and Gift and Mystery, an autobiography tracing his journey from amateur actor to the Vatican.


Amazon: Books by Pope John Paul II | sample pages from Crossing the Threshold of Hope

13 Jan 2003