Our Father

by Pope Francis, Rider, 144pp, £9.99

Key Words of Pope Francis

by Cindy Wooden and Joshua McElwee, Bloomsbury, 224pp, £10.99

Two new books reveal the secret to Pope Francis’s popularity: it’s all about the Gospels. The first does this with the words of the Holy Father himself.

Our Father is a conversation between Pope Francis and prison chaplain Fr Marco Pozzo. The other is Key Words of Pope Francis, in which the National Catholic Reporter’s Joshua McElwee and Catholic News Service’s Cindy Wooden gather essays by Catholics (and non-Catholics) to explain some of Francis’s favourite words.

The Our Father book was the source of controversy a few months ago when Francis critics claimed that he wanted to rewrite the Lord’s Prayer when he said God leads us out of – and not into – temptation. The book, however, is a delight to read, with all the touches that make Francis so popular. He tells charming personal anecdotes, such as his surprise as a child when his father paid a cab driver. “I thought my dad owned all the cars in the city,” Francis says.

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