Alessio was a star in the Italian media!
Alessio was a favorite of Francis and always standing next to him in press photos.
Some time ago Loyola Press released a book in which Francis answered questions sent from children all around the world. This book was titled, Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letter from Children Around the World, in the United States of America. The Italian edition is L’amore prima del mondo: Papa Francesco scrive ai bambini (Love before the world: Pope Francis writes to children).
What makes this book very interesting, besides Francis’ off the wall un-Catholic answers to the children’s questions, is that one letter from Alessio which is in the Italian edition of the book is missing from the English language version. This nine year old Italian boy, Alessio, was the darling of the Italian media and Francis’ favorite child in the many videos we at Call Me Jorge... have watched on this topic. Doesn’t it make you wonder why the English language edition does not contain the letter and answer? We believe it is because Americans still have a small sense of what being Catholic means and would have been outraged by Francis’ answer. While elsewhere around the world, the Faith has declined to such a degree that people wouldn’t even blink if they read Francis’ answer much less be upset.
This isn’t the first time that an English language edition of a book by Francis has been censored. Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio: His Life in His Own Words is missing a blasphemous joke about Our Lord which is in the original Spanish edition, El Jesuita: Conversaciones con el cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, s.j.. (See, Jorge jokes about Our Lord's Crucifixion, for more deatils.)
Another interesting thing concerning Alessio’s letter and Francis’ reply is that Call Me Jorge... came across this in Italian on twitter in a post from a reporter who worked in the Vatican’s press pool and on the Tridentine Judaism blog, Rorate-Caeli. We write that Rorate-Caeli is Tridentine Judaism as they promote Talmudists as the eternal victims instead of the unbelieving sinners and blasphemers that they are among other things. Well, Rorate-Caeli exposed this letter and answer on 28 Febraury 2016 in Pope Francis served the traditional Latin Mass! and on 10 December 2016 in Dear Sycophants of Pope Francis: If you truly love him, don't let the world see his nakedness, said that Francis is like a senile relative who needs to have his nakedness covered out of love, less more damage be done to the papacy! This brings to mind Michael Voris’ group Church Militant and their post, ChurchMilitant.TV Will Not Engage in Public Criticism of the Pope, which explains their position of not criticizing “naked Noah” Francis while naming those who expose Francis for who he is as “pornographers”. How Talmudic to twist the word of God to suit one’s agenda. We wonder is there a blanket big enough in the world to cover the nakedness of Francis? Perhaps, ChurchMiltant.TV & Rorate-Caeli could solve one Francis’ pet peeves, unemployment, by having the people of Italy sew one for this unworthy cause.
Below, Call Me Jorge... provides three screenshots of Francis’ reply to Alessio and part of Alessio’s letter to Francis from L’amore prima del mondo: Papa Francesco scrive ai bambini as well as video of Alessio promoting the book. Also, are the transcript of the original Italian of the Q & A and the English translation of the Q & A. Lastly, we include a video from Fr. William Jenkins which contains the best commentary we found on the topic, we highly recommend it and it is worth nine minutes of your time. So scroll on down and read Francis’ answer to the nine year old Alessio which shows who the real Francis is.
Cover of the English language version (for North America) of Dear Pope Francis.
Cover of the Italian edition of L’amore prima del mondo: Papa Francesco scrive ai bambini.
Screenshots of Alessio’s letter from Francis
(click to enlarge)
The above two screenshots are taken from from the Italian television show, La strada dei miracoli - Puntata dell'1 marzo (2016).
Screenshot is from video on youtube, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Presentazione del libro L'Amore Prima del Mondo, at the 1 minute and 8 seconds mark in the video.
short video of Alessio
Was @Pontifex an altar boy? Alessio wants to know! #DearPopeFrancis is now a @nytimes bestseller. pic.twitter.com/oQ39vdkOQU— LoyolaPress (@loyolapress) May 13, 2016
QUESTION FROM ALESSIO & ANSWER FROM FRANCIS
(Italia, 9 anni)
Caro Alessio, sì che sono stato chierichetto. E tu? Quel chierichetto del disegno sei tu? Ma, senti, adesso è più facile. Devi sapere che quando ero bambino io la messa si celebrava in maniera differente da come si fa adesso. Il prete intanto guardava l’altare, che era accostato al muro, e non le persone. Poi il libro col quale diceva la messa, il messale, era messo sull’altare nella parte destra. Ma prima della lettura del Vangelo si spostava sempre sul lato sinistro. Questo era il mio compito: portarlo da destra a sinistra e da sinistra a destra. Ma che fatica! Era pesante! Io lo prendevo con tutta la mia energia, ma non ero robusto: lo sollevavo e mi cadeva, e così il prete mi doveva aiutare. Era un’impresa! Poi la messa non era in italiano. Il prete parlava ma io non capivo niente. E così anche i miei compagni. Allora poi per gioco imitavamo il prete storpiando un po’ le parole per fare strane frasi in spagnolo. Ci divertivamo. E ci piaceva tanto servire la messa.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF ALLESIO’S QUESTION & FRANCIS’ ANSWER
Dear Pope Francis,
Were you ever near the priest as the altar boy?
Greetings from Alessio (Italy, age 9)
Dear Alessio, yes, I was an altar boy. And you? What part among the altar boys do you have? It’s easier to do now, you know: You might know that, when I was a kid, Mass was celebrated different than today. Back then, the priest faced the altar, which was next to the wall, and not the people. Then the book with which he said the Mass, the missal, was placed on the right side of the altar. But before reading of the Gospel it always had to be moved to the left side. That was my job: to carry it from right to left. It was exhausting! The book was heavy! I picked it up with all my energy but I wasn’t so strong; I picked it up once and fell down, so the priest had to help me. Some job I did! The Mass wasn’t in Italian then. The priest spoke but I didn’t understand anything. and neither did my friends. So for fun we’d do imitations of the priest, messing up the words a bit to make up weird sayings in Spanish. We had fun, and we really enjoyed serving Mass.
The highly recommended video by Fr. William Jenkins
— more on Francis’ book for children —
Francis examining the letters from children presented to him by Antonio Spadaro.
Francis reading another letter to him on his floors in Casa Santa Marta.
Antonio Spadaro filming Francis reading William’s question
a video promoting the book with Alessio in it
***** UPDATE 20 DECEMBER 2016 ****
Thanks to the reader who sent us this information!
Alessio’s letter & Francis’ reply is also in the Spanish edition.
Cover of Spanish language edition of Querido Papa Francisco: El Papa responde a las cartas de niños de todo el mundo (Dear Pope Francis: The Pope responds to letters from children around the world)
El Papa contó la anécdota al responder a Alessio, un niño italiano de 9 años de edad, quien le preguntó si "¿alguna vez estuvo cerca del sacerdote como monaguillo?"Esta fue la respuesta del Papa:"Querido Alessio, sí, fui monaguillo. ¿Y tú? ¿Qué tarea cumples entre los monaguillos? Es más fácil ahora, ¿sabes? Debes saber que, cuando yo era niño, la Misa se celebraba de forma diferente a ahora. Entonces, el sacerdote miraba hacia el altar, que se encontraba junto a la pared, y no a la gente. El libro con el que decía la Misa, el misal, se colocaba al lado derecho del altar. Pero antes de la lectura del Evangelio, siempre tenía que llevarse hacia el lado izquierdo. Ese era mi trabajo: Llevar el libro de derecha a izquierda y después de izquierda a derecha. ¡Era agotador! ¡El libro era pesado! Lo llevaba con toda mi energía, pero yo no era tan fuerte: en una ocasión lo recogí y me caí, así que el sacerdote tuvo que ayudarme. ¡Qué tal trabajo que hice! La Misa no era en italiano en aquel entonces. El sacerdote hablaba pero yo no entendía nada, y mis amigos tampoco. Así que para divertirnos hacíamos imitaciones del sacerdote, mezclando un poco las palabras para inventar frases extrañas en español. Nos divertíamos, y realmente disfrutamos mucho sirviendo en Misa".
No word if this letter is in the Portuguese edition.
Cover of Brazilian-Portuguese language edition of Querido Papa Francisco - o Papa Responde Às Cartas de Crianças do Mundo Todo (Dear Pope Francis - Pope Responds to Children's Letters from Around the World)