Vatican City, 4 April 2014 (VIS) – During the Sunday Angelus, and on various other occasions, Pope Francis has urged the faithful to carry a pocket-sized book of the Gospels and to read it often to meditate on Jesus' words and deeds, especially those referred to in the day's liturgy, on which Pope Francis himself has commented.

To help put this suggestion into practice, and communicating a clear message, next Sunday during the Angelus in St. Peter's Square, several thousand pocket-sized copies of the Gospel will be distributed free as a gift to the faithful at the behest of the Pope.

The initiative, similar to the distribution of the “Misericordinas” some months ago, will be implemented by the Almoner of His Holiness, with the collaboration of a number of volunteers: 150 scouts, seminarians from the Roman Seminary, the Sisters of Mother Teresa and other religious, and individuals. Indeed, it is the role of the Almoner to distribute charity, not only material but also spiritual, on behalf of the Pope.

The book, printed by the Vatican Typography (in a special edition for this occasion, which will not be available for sale), contains the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, and begins with the Pope's words from the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”: “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus”. On the inner cover leaf there are instructions on how to recite the “chaplet of Mercy” and it ends, on the inner back cover, with Blessed Cardinal John H. Newman's prayer: “Dear Jesus...”, that Mother Teresa advised her nuns to recite every day.