Papal Children's Book Talks of "Jesus' Friends"

Draws From Wednesday Audiences on the Apostles

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ROME, JULY 22, 2010 ( Drawing from Benedict XVI’s general audiences, a children’s book has been published in the Pope’s name to present «The Friends of Jesus.»

«Gli amici di Gesu,» (Piccola casa editrice) gathers passages from the Pope’s Wednesday audiences to present the 12 Apostles, as well as Matthias and Paul.

The Pontiff began in 2006 to dedicate his audience addresses to the apostles.

The 48-page work is embellished by illustrations from Franco Vignazia.

Julián Carrón, president of the Communion and Liberation Movement, writes the introduction, which was presented today in L’Osservatore Romano.

He recounts how a «small group of men one day 2,000 years ago met a young man walking through the streets of Galilee.»

Carrón goes on to explain how these men are known today as the apostles, but even then, were recognized as Jesus’ friends.

Now, the author notes, the Successor of Peter, one of these original friends, «accompanies us to discover who were Christ’s first companions, how they met him and how they were conquered by him to the point of deciding never to abandon him.»

«The Pope takes us back 2,000 years and makes us become witnesses of what Jesus said and did with those men,» Carrón writes. «[The Holy Father] transports us on a spring morning to the shores of the Lake of Tiberias, where Jesus asks Peter: ‘Do you love me?’ and he lets us hear his answer, repeated several times: ‘Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you.'»

Lorenzo Murnigotti, editorial coordinator of the Piccola Casa Editrice publishing house, told the Catholic News Agency that he hopes an English and Spanish version will be published within the next year.

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