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First Belong to God: On Retreat with Pope Francis


Austen Ivereigh

First Belong to God: On Retreat with Pope Francis

With a Foreword by Pope Francis

‘Austen Ivereigh has done a great service in bringing together the retreat talks I gave…with my teachings as Pope. In this way, he allows both to illuminate, and be illuminated by, St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises’Pope Francis

‘Austen Ivereigh’s “First belong to God. On retreat with #PopeFrancis” is a book I recommend to enter into the experience of the Exercises with the guidance of Francis.’
Antonio Spadaro SJ, former editor of La Civiltá Cattolica

‘an amazingly rich book, which everyone, both believers or doubtful, can benefit from reading with patience and pondering with care.’   The Irish Catholic

‘offers insights into the priorities and teachings of the Pope, while exploring the wisdom of St Ignatius on which the Pope has drawn throughout his life.’  Independent Catholic News

A well-designed guidebook with pragmatic instruction for spiritual retreats.’   Kirkus Reviews

Decades before he was elected pope the Jesuit Fr Jorge Mario Bergoglio was a renowned spiritual director and retreat giver, steeped in the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. Drawing on many retreat talks he gave in the 1970s-90s, which have never been translated into English, the Pope’s biographer has created a powerful Ignatian retreat that offers a contemplative route into the key teachings and vision of the Francis pontificate.

First Belong to God: On Retreat with Pope Francis uses the classic week-long “short form” of the Exercises, linking Ignatius’s famous contemplations with Francis’s call to a synodal, fraternal, and ecological conversion. Each day contains points for reflection taken from Fr Bergoglio’s retreats, as well as guided meditations, Scripture references and suggestions for reading and prayer. First Belong to God: On Retreat with Pope Francis can be used as a companion guide either for an individual or group retreat in a formal retreat setting under a director, or by a parish or community over a longer period such as Lent or Advent.


First Belong to God: On Retreat with Pope Francis

Dr Ivereigh is Fellow in Contemporary Church History at Campion Hall in the University of Oxford Ivereigh is the author of two renowned biographies of Pope Francis: The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope (Henry Holt/Picador 2014/15) and Wounded Shepherd: Francis and his Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church (Henry Holt, 2019). He also collaborated with Pope Francis on his vision for the post-Covid world, the New York Times bestseller Let Us Dream: the Path to a Better Future (Simon & Schuster).

210 x 140mm