First published in Italy at the end of 2020, at the height of lockdown, A Gift of Joy and Hope (The Gift of a Smile in Italian) is Pope Francis’ bestselling book there.
In response to the devastating loss the world faced during the pandemic, His Holiness was inspired to write a book to help people find hope and meaning. The book is filled with thoughts and reflections on how to cope with the world we’re currently in, from the anxieties of the age to the importance of nature.
A Gift of Joy and Hope encourages readers to look outside themselves and trust that joy and hope are still possible.
“Jesus is God’s smile,” writes Pope Francis. “Jesus came to us to reveal the love of our heavenly Father. In Jesus’ smile his parents saw God’s mercy. When we look at the baby Jesus we too can feel God smiling at us, smiling down on the poor of the world, upon all who await salvation, who hope for a kinder world, a place where war and violence do not exist, a place where men and women can live in dignity as the children of God.”
Pope Francis writes: “We must stop orbiting only around ourselves and the disappointments of the past, unmet dreams and the many bad things that have happened in our lives. So very often we tend to keep revolving around and around our own problems. We have to leave this attitude behind and move forward by accepting the greatest and truest reality of life: Jesus lives, Jesus loves me. I can do something for others. This is the greatest reality – beautiful, positive and bright. This is the u-turn we need to make… we need to go from if to yes.”
To have a chance of winning a hard-back copy of the book simply email your name and address to email@example.com or send it to Keith Morris, Pear Tree Farmhouse, Wymondham Road, Wreningham, Norwich, NR16 1AT, with your answer to this question. What is the title of the book version published in Italy.
The closing date for entries is February 28.
A Gift of Joy and Hope, published by Hodder Faith, costs £16.99 (hardback).