Since Jose Mario Bergoglio was elected pope earlier this year, I’ve been interested in learning more about this seemingly pious man who quietly ascended to one of the most powerful positions in the world. I’ve been impressed with his humility and acts of service. I read Mario Escobar’s latest biography of the new pontiff, Francis: Man of Prayer, desiring to learn more about him.

The book gives a decent background of his life–his upbringing, education, becoming a Jesuit. It gives a bit of review of previous popes and their policies. It also provides a deeper understanding of what it means for Francis to be the first Jesuit and first pope from Latin America. The book ends with looking at the challenges Pope Francis faces as well as his likely stance on various issues facing the Catholic church.

While fairly thorough and factual, I wanted more story and example from Jose Mario Bergoglio’s life. I wanted to hear stories from his ministry in Argentina about how he lived humbly, served the poor, and prayed. I wished the author had been able to interview Pope Francis rather than just gather information about him.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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