“Each of us must ask himself if there are horizons in his life. Are there horizons? Many times, it happens that people cannot see them. And they feel a little bad because they do not observe, do not know how to look and search for those horizons. Observing the horizons of life, in this way, means looking at hope.”
“Pope Francis really makes you feel like a person. He’s the Pope, of course. At the beginning there is a sense of expectation, the same as I felt as a child, the first time I met one of St. Peter’s successors. But then, without you even realising it, he makes you feel like an equal, with the understanding and authenticity of a man who loves you, and that’s all: he simply loves you, just as you are.”
If you suddenly had an unexpected opportunity to spend some time face to face with the Pope, what would you ask him?
This was the extraordinary experience of Davide Banzato, described in the pages of this book. In the Vatican for his television programme I viaggi del cuore, Father Davide never thought he would get a unique opportunity to chat with the Pope and ask him the questions that he, like many of us, had been wondering about. The result is a sincere, spontaneous dialogue, but also an enlightening reflection between a priest who has not been afraid to take risks, with a life full of light and shadows, and a Pope of great wisdom and, above all, unbounded humanity. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the papal ministry of Pope Francis, the Holy Father answered ten questions, in a discussion addressing existential and highly relevant issues: from solitude to indifference, from the crisis in faith to peace of the heart, from fear to poverty. All enriched with personal anecdotes and reflections on the times we live in, on the Pope’s documents and speeches, on burning issues such as abuse, war and economic crisis, in a discussion that speaks to everyone. Thus the Pope’s words take us on a true “voyage of the heart”: an intense walk, with obstacles and dark places of its own, but capable of showing us that it is always possible for each of us to cast the anchor of hope in the midst of the storm, to open a window and look out at the horizon of a more serene future.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, born in Buenos Aires in 1936, became the 266th Pope of the Catholic church on 13 March 2013. He chose the name of Saint Francis of Assisi, “a man of poverty, a man of peace”. Piemme also published his books Il nome di Dio è Misericordia. Una conversazione con Andrea Tornielli (2016, translated into 100 languages, published in English under the title The Name of God is Mercy), Dio è giovane (2018, published in English as God is Young), Ritorniamo a sognare (2020, published in English as Let us Dream) and Vi chiedo in nome di Dio (2022). And in the Battello a Vapore series: Laudato si’. L’enciclica raccontata ai ragazzi, Le più belle storie del Vangelo and A come Amore, B come Bambino.
Born in Padua in 1981, Father Banzato works with disadvantaged youth in Nuovi Orizzonti, the community founded by Chiara Amirante. He writes for a number of newspapers, presents the television programme I viaggi del cuore for broadcaster Mediaset, and has appeared in a series commenting on the gospels on Rai1 as well as a number of radio broadcasts. Piemme published his bestseller Tutto ma prete mai (2021).