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Pope Francis's Bookcase

Pope Francis (Latin: Franciscus; Italian: Francesco; Spanish: Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European pope since the Syrian Gregory III, who died in 741.

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Ignatius of Loyola (1491- 1556) was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation, and his devotion to the Catholic Church was characterized by unquestioning obedience to the Catholic Church's authority and hierarchy. After being seriously wounded at the Battle of Pamplona in 1521, he underwent a spiritual conversion while in recovery. De Vita Christi by Ludolph of Saxony inspired Loyola to abandon his previous military life and devote himself to labour for God, following the example of spiritual leaders such as Francis of Assisi. He experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus while at the shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat in March 1522. Thereafter he went to Manresa, where he began praying for seven hours a day, often in a nearby cave, while formulating the fundamentals of the Spiritual Exercises. In September 1523, Loyola reached the Holy Land to settle there, but was sent back to Europe by the Franciscans. Between 1524 and 1537, Ignatius studied theology and Latin in Spain and then in Paris. In 1534, he arrived in the latter city during a period of anti-Protestant turmoil which forced John Calvin to flee France. Ignatius and a few followers bound themselves by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In 1539, they formed the Society of Jesus, approved in 1540 by Pope Paul III, as well as his Spiritual Exercises approved in 1548. Loyola also composed the Constitutions of the Society. He died in July 1556, was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1609, canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622, and declared patron of all spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, written from 1522-1524, are a brief set of Christian meditations, prayers and mental exercises, divided in four thematic 'weeks' of variable length, designed to be carried out over a period of 28 to 30 days. They were composed with the intention of helping the retreatant to discern Jesus in his life, leading then to a personal commitment to follow it. Though the underlying spiritual outlook is Catholic, the exercises are often made nowadays by non-Catholics. The 'Spiritual Exercises' booklet was formally approved in 1548 by Paul III.

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Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) is now recognized as one of Europe’s supreme poets. He first found his true voice in the epigrams and odes he wrote when transfigured by his love for the wife of a rich banker. He later embarked on an extraordinarily ambitious sequence of hymns exploring cosmology and history, from mythological times to the discovery of America and his own era. The ’Canticles of Night’, by contrast, include enigmatic fragments in an unprecedented style, which anticipates the Symbolists and Surrealists. Together the works collected here show Hölderlin’s use of Classical and Christian imagery and his exploration of cosmology and history in an attempt to find meaning in an uncertain world.

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"I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man," the irascible voice of a nameless narrator cries out. And so, from underground, emerge the passionate confessions of a suffering man; the brutal self-examination of a tormented soul; the bristling scorn and iconoclasm of alienated individual who has become one of the greatest antiheroes in all literature. Notes From Underground, published in 1864, marks a tuming point in Dostoevsky's writing: it announces the moral political, and social ideas he will treat on a monumental scale in Crime And Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov. And it remains to this day one of the most searingly honest and universal testaments to human despair ever penned.

“The political cataclysms and cultural revolutions of our century…confirm the status of Notes from Underground as one of the most sheerly astonishing and subversive creations of European fiction.” –from the Introduction by Donald Fanger

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This authoritative edition brings together all of Hopkins's poetry and a generous selection of his prose writings to explore the essence of his work and thinking.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) was one of the most innovative of nineteenth-century poets. During his tragically short life he strove to reconcile his religious and artistic vocations, and this edition demonstrates the range of his interests. It includes all his poetry, from best-known works such as "The Wreck of the Deutschland" and "The Windhover" to translations, foreign language poems, plays, and verse fragments, and the recently discovered poem "Consule Jones". In addition there are excerpts from Hopkins's journals, letters, and spiritual writings. The poems are printed in chronological order to show Hopkins's changing preoccupations, and all the texts have been established from original manuscripts.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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This collection chronicles the fiction and non fiction classics by the greatest writers the world has ever known. The inclusion of both popular as well as overlooked pieces is pivotal to providing a broad and representative collection of classic works.

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Set in Lombardy during the Spanish occupation of the late 1620s, The Betrothed tells the story of two young lovers, Renzo and Lucia, prevented from marrying by the petty tyrant Don Rodrigo, who desires Lucia for himself. Forced to flee, they are then cruelly separated, and must face many dangers including plague, famine and imprisonment, and confront a variety of strange characters - the mysterious Nun of Monza, the fiery Father Cristoforo and the sinister 'Unnamed' - in their struggle to be reunited. A vigorous portrayal of enduring passion, The Betrothed's exploration of love, power and faith presents a whirling panorama of seventeenth-century Italian life and is one of the greatest European historical novels.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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The only true and unedited telling of the life of Christ—his life and times, in historical context, but not lacking the psychology behind his physical being and spirit. Unlike other books seeking to strip Jesus' story to reveal only the human being, Romano Guardini's The Lord gives the complete story of Jesus Christ—as man, Holy Ghost, and Creator. Pope Benedict XVI lauds Guardini's work as providing a full understanding of the Son of God, away from the prejudice that rationality engenders. Put long-held myths aside and discover the entire truth about God's only begotten Son.

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A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on a long spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell.

In seizing the inspiration that came to him through Rembrandt's depiction of the powerful Gospel story, Henri Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son's return, the father's restoration of sonship, the elder son's vengefulness, and the father's compassion. In his reflection on Rembrandt in light of his own life journey, the author evokes a powerful drama of the parable in a rich, capativating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. The themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation will be newly discovered by all who have known loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger. The challenge to love as the father and be loved as the son will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians throughout time, and here represented with a vigor and power fresh for our times.

For all who ask, "Where has my struggle led me?" or for those "on the road" who have had the courage to embark on the journey but seek the illumination of a known way and safe passage, this work will inspire and guide each time it is read.

"The Return of the Prodigal Son is a beautiful book, as beautiful in the simple clarity of its wisdom as in the terrible beauty of the transformation to which it calls us." --New Oxford Review

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