Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconChurch
line break icon

Like Pope Francis? Wait Until You Meet His Predecessors

Jeffrey Bruno

Zelda Caldwell - published on 10/14/15

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s book on the three most recent popes has just been released as a free download

For anyone’s whose interest was piqued by Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, there’s a new, free resource available to learn more about the Holy Father and his two predecessors.

Our Sunday Visitor has just made Soul Mind and Heart, by New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan available as a free download. In this short book, Dolan explores the lives and thought of Popes, John Paul II, Benedict and Francis.

Dolan writes:

At the risk of an oversimplification, an easy way to think about these last three popes is this: the Soul, the Mind, and the Heart. The Church is meant to be the soul of the world, to put on the mind of Christ, and to reveal the heart of Jesus. I propose that we look at Pope John Paul II as emphasizing the soul of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI as highlighting the mind of the Church, and Pope Francis as giving priority to the heart of the Church.

Here are a few excerpts from this tribute and introduction to the three popes, much of which was based on personal reminiscences:

On Pope John Paul II:

It was Saint John Paul II’s mission to recover the priority of the spiritual. He, himself, had an extraordinarily vibrant life of the soul. In fact, many people — myself included — believe he was a mystic. You know what a mystic is? A mystic is one who periodically enjoys hereon earth the union with God that most of us can only hope for in heaven.”

On Pope Benedict XVI:

He reminded us of the ancient principle that reason and faith are friends, fighting against the misguided idea, unfortunately so common today, that faith and reason are in conflict. Far from it! They’re allies.

On Pope Francis:

About this time [after Pope Francis’ election], the Sistine Chapel doors had opened and all the attendants started coming in. Having been cooped up during the conclave, we had all sorts of questions. “Did the smoke work?” “What are the crowds like?” When someone asked what the weather was like, one of the Swiss Guards said it was raining, and at this the pope perked up immediately. He’d only greeted a few of us, but said: “My brothers, I hear it’s raining Soul, Mind, and Heart 31 outside. I’m going to be with you for supper, and we can talk then, but I don’t want to keep the people waiting. I should go out and greet them.” It was again spontaneous, simple, and sincere. It also reaffirmed what we cardinals had known: this was a man with an innate sensitivity.

Pope Benedict XVIPope FrancisPope John Paul II
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.