Vatican City

Pope's third book on Jesus to hit stores for Christmas

Vatican deal with Rizzoli to sell worldwide

Pope's third book on Jesus to hit stores for Christmas

(ANSA) - Vatican City, September 21 - The third and final part of Pope Benedict's trilogy about Jesus will hit book stores in time for Christmas, the Vatican said Friday. The Vatican publishing company LEV has reached a deal with Italian publishers Rizzoli to sell the book's rights worldwide, it said. Benedict finished the book in August. Dedicated to Jesus's childhood, it will now be translated from the pope's native German into other languages for global publication. "It is a great gift in the year of faith," the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said. The book on Jesus took a few months longer to complete than expected, according to Vatican sources. The sources said that the book would be translated into 12 languages, compared to the nine for the previous installment. Given the lack of Biblical sources on Jesus's life before the age of 30, Benedict has recognized his book should not be regarded as the last word on the subject, he says. "Anyone is free to contradict me," he said early this year. The pope's second installment of the trilogy came out last March to acclaim from the Catholic and Jewish worlds. More than one million copies were reserved before its publication on March 11 and the volume went on to set a record for the German pontiff and theologian. The book gripped Catholics with its insights into Jesus's life, death and resurrection. Jewish groups hailed the pope's emphatic denial that the Jews were to blame for Jesus's death. From The Entry Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, Benedict's remarks focused on the events leading up to Christ's crucifixion and the meaning of his death and rebirth. The book was a follow-up to the pope's bestselling Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration in 2007.

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