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Pope reveals his recommended summer reading... yes, it’s the Bible

If people are looking for a challenging read, says Pope Benedict XVI, then why not bring a copy of the Bible on holiday?

Image: John Stillwell/PA Archive

POPE BENEDICT XVI has revealed his recommended summer reading list for holidaymakers jetting off into the sun.

Perhaps predictably, however, there’s no sign of a Dan Brown thriller or the latest Ross O’Carroll-Kelly on his reading list – but rather, the more typical suggestion of the Bible.

Vatican Radio reports that in his first public address since retiring to Castel Gandolfo for his summer retreat, the Pope remarked that while many people read books on holiday “mostly for evasion”, others enjoyed a more intellectual challenge for their summer reads.

“Why not discover some books of the Bible, which are normally unknown? Or of which we have maybe heard some passages during the liturgy, but we never read in its entirety?,” the Pontiff suggested.

“In fact, many Christians have never read the bible, and have a very limited and superficial knowledge of it.”

Even the most faithful of Christians were not familiar with the entirety of the Bible, he said, even though some of the books contained in the Bible could be read through in an hour.

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Among his recommended reads were the Book of Tobit, which deals with family and marriage, the Book of Esther which discusses the power of prayer, and the more well-known Book of Ruth on Divine providence.

The pontiff also spoke of the “beauty” of reading one of the four Gospels in a single sitting.

A report published last week revealed that Irish holidaymakers were among the most bookish in Europe, with a fifth of Irish travellers reading between four and eight books while on holiday.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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