WASHINGTON (August 29, 2003) -- The Poetry of John Paul II—Roman Triptych: Meditations, his new book of poetic meditations, will be available starting September 5 in over 400 Catholic bookstores and other venues across the country according to an announcement by USCCB Publishing, the official publisher of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Lawrence S. Cunningham, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, writes, "The Germans speak of 'Urwortes' - words so fundamental that they touch the fundamental roots of existence. Pope John Paul II has at his command such a vocabulary as is clearly evident in these deeply meditative words which spring from the pope's gifts as a poet and as a person of profound prayer. One must approach these words with a contemplative openness to the great Silence from which they spring."
The Poetry of John Paul II—Roman Triptych: Meditations contains three new poems, the first written and published during his pontificate. The Holy Father draws Scriptural inspiration from the book of Genesis as the framework for his Roman Triptych.
Throughout the trio of poems, he reflects on God as the beginning and end of human life and all creation. He also ponders the beginning and end of his own time as Pope.
"In this beautifully designed book written by the pontiff who renewed the fraternal bond of church and synagogue, the reader will find deeply personal verses that have the candor and concision of early Christian hymnody," comments Justus George Lawler, author of Celestial Pantomime: Poetic Structures of Transcendence.
The book's elegance is enhanced by the full-color artwork from the Casa Buonarotti and Albertina Museum, and several pages of the Pope's original handwritten text.
USCCB Publishing, publisher of the bestselling Catechism of the Catholic Church and owner of the New American Bible, is the exclusive publisher of The Poetry of John Paul II—Roman Triptych: Meditations in the United States. Available in a limited edition of 125,000 copies, the hardcover book with a full-color dust jacket is printed in both English (100,000 copies) and Spanish (25,000 copies).
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has written a presentation for the English edition. An audio-edition is also planned.
Publication of The Poetry of John Paul II – Roman Triptych: Meditations comes in time to mark the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's election to the papacy on October 16. It is one of the longest pontificates in history and the most prolific. The Pope has issued 13 encyclicals, preached on five continents, released a prayer CD, and written several bestselling books.
For more information on how to order The Poetry of John Paul II—Roman Triptych: Meditations directly from the USCCB, visit their website. The price of the 40-page hardcover book is $19.95.