The Pope & the Snowman: A Christmas Tale

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-11-04
  • Publisher: Textstream
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In the tradition of The Little Prince, The Pope and the Snowman is a book that can be read on several levels. For adults, it is a story tracing the pope's loss of faith and his search to recover a sense of compassion and purpose. For children, it is a story in which the pope is given the opportunity to become a child again, rediscovering joy and hope in the faces of the children he meets. In the end, with the help of the the snowman and the children of Rome, the pope makes a personal commitment with far reaching consequences. The Pope and the Snowman includes 22 illustrations by Richard Becker, a free-lance illustrator and former designer with Hallmark Cards.


It is Christmas Eve and a heavy snow has covered the city of Rome for the first time ever. At the Vatican, cardinals flock to the rooftop to discuss the meaning of these mysterious flakes - are they a curse or are they a blessing? Meanwhile, the pope wakes up to find that he can think of nothing hopeful to say to the faithful who will gather that evening in St. Peter's Square for his blessing. In his despair, the pope goes outside to pray in his private garden. Here he finds a trespassing snowman - not so unusual considering the snow. Through this encounter, the pope is confronted with some of the causes of his despair - looking backward rather than forward; always saying no rather than yes, and pontificating without involvement. Through a miracle, the pope is freed by the snowman from the prison of his high garden walls and is given the opportunity to experience his childhood again as a way of overcoming his despair. Through an afternoon of sleding, dancing and snowball tossing, the pope regains his sense of joy and enthusiasm. Waking in his study, the pope believes he has had a vision. His prayer for something to say on Christmas Eve has been answered, his dispair ended. The cardinals think he has becme senile and point to his battered hat that looks like it's been in a snowball fight. That evening, children rather than adults gather in St. Peter's Square for the pope's blessing. Instead, a humbled pope asks for their blessing. He then announces that, beginning Christmas Day, he will undertake a walking crusade on behalf of the suffering children of the world. The next day the sun rises brightly. As the pope prepares for his journey, the snowman is fading into the distance but rather than melting, he is transformed in a dove rising into the sky. It is a new day and one full of promise for children everywhere.

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