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Pope Francis' Little Book of Compassion
The Essential Teachings
Compiled by Andrea Kirk Assaf
ISBN: 9781571747785
Book (Paperback)
Hampton Roads Publishing Company
4.25 x 5
400 pages
March 1, 2017


"Compassion, “to suffer with,” as it appears in this palm-sized book compiling quotes excerpted from Pope Francis’s public remarks, is more than a feeling. It is action, explains journalist Assaf, who has covered three pontificates and written for Inside the Vatican. She notes that, in Christian terms, compassion begins with receiving the compassion of God. The wisdoms and lessons gathered here, intended to inspire readers to act as agents of healing, forgiveness, and joy, presume familiarity with the vocabulary and syntax of traditional Christianity, but the book’s main parts (arranged into the categories of mercy, prayer, forgiveness, solidarity, charity and service, hospitality, and Jesus) aren’t complicated theological arguments. Instead, Assaf provides ecumenical reminders for kindness and care. The words of Pope Francis, known for his manner of humility, strong openness, and transparent concern, lend these gems particular resonance. Readers may take issue with details such as the categorization of particular quotes, but they will value the timeless reminders to “[find] God in every human being” or to complete prayer with action." --Publishers Weekly, (January 2017)

Pope Francis is a pope of the people, and his teachings have been praised and shared by the faithful and nonreligious alike. Exploring themes universal to all people, Pope Francis’ Little Book of Compassion offers inspiration and hope from one of the world’s great spiritual leaders. In it, the Holy Father explores how living a life of compassion can be practiced in five areas of life: prayer, mercy, forgiveness, solidarity, and charity.

Pope Francis appears to be changing the face of Roman Catholicism. He has infused the fusty institution with openness and optimism, faced off against established power interests within the Vatican, reformed the Church’s finances, and, most importantly, asked that Catholics approach one another and non-Catholics with candor, humility, and love. He has made the papacy and the Church relevant once again.

Words from Pope Francis:
“A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.”
“There is so much indifference in the face of suffering. May we overcome indifference with concrete acts of charity."

Andrea Kirk Assaf is a Rome-based journalist who has been employed with Inside the Vatican since 2002 and has covered three pontiffs. She is the compiler of Pope Francis’ Little Book of Wisdom and divides her time between a farm in Remus, Michigan and Rome.
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