If you could ask Pope Francis one question, what would it be?
Small children have BIG questions. Some are fun. Some are serious. And some will quietly break your heart. In Dear Pope Francis, the Pope’s first book for children, he personally responds to 30 questions from children all over the world. With his optimistic heart, Pope Francis writes with an honesty that will impact every reader long after the final page is turned. Illuminating and inspiring, Dear Pope Francis is a lasting book with a universal message for children and adults.
Teacher Resources for Dear Pope Francis are now available. In each lesson, students apply the wisdom of Pope Francis’s responses to children’s letters to their own lives.
Click here to download the lessons for Prep/Foundation to Grade 2
Click here to download the lessons for Grade 3 to Grade 5
Click here to download the lessons for Grade 6 to Year 8
On Feb. 22, 2016, twelve child co-authors of the book Dear Pope Francis spent an afternoon with their co-author Pope Francis. The children came from twelve different countries, including Australia, China, Belgium, Kenya, and the United States. These children’s questions and illustrations are featured in the Pope’s first and only children’s book, along with the Pope’s personal responses.
The Holy Father talked with his young guests at the Vatican. During the extraordinary visit, each of the children gave Pope Francis a gift from their homeland, including Ugg boots from Australia, maple syrup from Canada, a woven painting from India and a soccer ball from the United States. The Pope in turn greeted and blessed each child and then presented them with a copy of Dear Pope Francis as well as a “Jesus the Teacher” plush figure. It was the first time the children had seen the Pope’s response to their questions. The children also had the unique opportunity to ask Pope Francis additional questions and even sing a song for him.
The impact of this once-in-a-lifetime experience for the children was poignantly expressed by Ryan from Canada, “One moment, I felt excited, but then I thought, this is probably the only time I'm ever going to meet him, so I don't want to blow this.” Clara from Ireland said that she would be friends with the kids she met on this special journey for the rest of her life.
Father Antonio Spadaro, S.J., who helped facilitate and edit this unique project, offered some insight as to why the Pope immediately said “Yes” to the book and visit: “The Pope knows that when he speaks to adults, children may not listen…but when he speaks to children, then adults listen.” In this way, the children’s visit to the Vatican helped bring the world’s attention to the Pope’s desire to share a message of mercy with all people.