A remarkable book that traces the saintly life of Saint Pope Paul VI has recently been published by EWTN Publishing and distributed through Sophia Press. Matthew Bunson’s work, Saint Pope Paul VI, Celebrating the 262nd Pope of the Roman Catholic Church draws inspiration from quotes attributed to the late pontiff and quotes from those who worked with him as well. While this book is not a definitive biography of the life of Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Paul VI, the poignant stories and recollections of the life and ministry of Paul VI as Bishop of Rome provides a formidable expose of the saintly character of Pope Paul VI.

While the book by Bunson is a remarkable collection of Paul VI’s quotes and commentaries from those that knew the former pontiff, it does not provide a cohesive chronological redaction of Paul VI’s early life nor his career as a Vatican curial official and his days as Archbishop of Milan. Clearly this book is intended to focus on the hagiographic references to Paul VI’s papacy rather than explore the details of his life as Giovanni Battista Montini.

There is an outstanding amount of information contained in this book and reading through it is not an easy task. The often quotes materials are extracted from Paul VI’s writings or speeches and those quotes provide a unique insight into the sanctity of Paul VI. However, the reader needs to be cognizant of the various official texts from which the quotes are taken and correlate those quotes to the proper situation in which they were intended. Regarding this point, this work by Matthew Bunson presupposes the readers capability to properly understand and attribute these often-quoted excerpts from the papal address’ of Pope Paul to place them in a proper chronology of Paul VI’s life and work.

The book should be read perhaps as a reflection on Saint Pope Paul VI’s life that intends to stimulate prayer and devotion to the newly proclaimed saint of the Catholic Church. While there are historical points contained in the book, it is not a biographical work that explores the life of Pope Paul VI, it is a collection of notable quotes from the pope’s life and a collection of quotes about the Pope Paul VI as he was observed by those that knew him best. This anthology of quotes is best served as a meditative tool that leads one to reflective contemplation on Paul VI’s lifelong struggles as pope and the journey to sanctity that he travelled daily.

I would recommend this book as essential reading as part of one’s spiritual reading and not as a scholarly work on the life of Pope Paul VI. It does indeed inspire one to emulate the late pope’s sanctity and commitment to the life of the Catholic Church.

This work is available from Sophia Institute Press https://www.sophiainstitute.com/ The cost of the book is $18.95.

Be Sociable, Share!