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How Pope Francis reads his Bible

Pope says his Bible is 'beat up,' but would never trade it for a newer one

Published: February 11, 2016   

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ Bible is well-worn and a treasure that he has loved for half his life.

“If you saw my Bible, you would not be impressed. You’d say, ‘What? This is the pope’s Bible? A book so old, so beat up?’ You might even want to give me a gift of a new one, something that costs 1,000 euro. But I don’t want it,” he wrote about his Bible and his Bible-reading habits in the preface to the German-language study guide, “Youth Bible for the Catholic Church.”

It was released in October by the Germany-based Katholisches Bibelwerk and the YouCat Foundation. Other language versions are expected this year.

“It has seen my joy and has been bathed by my tears: it is my priceless treasure and nothing in the world would make me give it up,” he wrote.

Pope Francis urges people to read the Bible daily and not let it collect dust “until one day your own children sell it at a used book stall. No! Don’t let that happen.”

Pope Francis said the Bible needs to be read with attention.

• First: “Ask ‘What does this say to my heart? What is God saying to me through these words?’” the pope counseled.

• Second: “Often I pick it up, read a bit, then set it down and let myself be seen by the Lord. I am not the one looking at him, but he looks at me. God is truly there, present.”

Pope Francis reassured the young people that it is not uncommon at all to feel like God is not saying anything. “But, patiently, I stay there and I wait, reading and praying.”

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