WASHINGTON (October 9, 2003) — Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, was the first speaker at a United Nations symposium October 7 honoring the 40th anniversary of Pope John XXIII's historic encyclical Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth). The program featured readings from the newly released book The Poetry of John Paul II-Roman Triptych:Meditations by Broadway actress Joan Almedilla.
The occasion marked the first public reading of the Holy Father's poetry in the United States. Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop of New York, and Cardinal-designate Renato Martino were among distinguished world leaders who heard the selections performed. Cardinal Egan has described the pope's poetry as "a classic work of religious poetry" and "a movingly personal meditation on the truths of our Faith."
Ms. Almedilla has appeared on Broadway in roles such as Kim in Miss Saigon and Fantine in Les Miserables. She is currently touring with Jesus Christ Superstar.
The Poetry of John Paul II-Roman Triptych:Meditations was first published earlier this year in the Pope's native Poland. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, publisher of the bestselling Catechism of the Catholic Church and licensing agent of the New American Bible, is the exclusive publisher of The Poetry of John Paul II-Roman Triptych: Meditations in the United States, in English and Spanish. The Poetry of John Paul II-Roman Triptych:Meditations is the third book of poetry by Pope John Paul II, but the first written during his reign as Pope.
The Poetry of John Paul II-Roman Triptych: Meditations is available from USCCB Publishing. The price of the 40-page hardcover book is $19.95.