Pope Francis invites Catholics to read Dante's Divine Comedy

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Pope Francis has written a letter in which he praises Dante Alighieri, on the 700th anniversary of the poet's death. 

The letter is entitled 'Radiance of the Eternal Light'. In it, the Pope pays homage to the author of the 'Divine Comedy', and encourages Catholics to read the work, which 'shows us how to fully live our humanity”, he says.

The Pope describes how Dante succeeded in using the beauty of poetry to express the depth of the mystery of God, better than anyone else.

Dante, he writes, defended freedom, and the dignity of every human being. 

Pope Francis praised Dante earlier this year when he met with ambassadors accredited to the Holy See.  

Dante Alighieri states that the purpose of his Comedy is to 'Remove those living in this life from the state of misery and lead them to the state of bliss'.”

In the letter, the Pope presents Dante as a 'precursor of multimedia culture”, because the poet conveys his message “with words and images, symbols and sounds.' 

Perhaps the Pope doesn't know it, but one of the earliest cinematographic versions of the Divine Comedy is preserved in the Vatican Film Library. 

It called “Hell” and dates back to1911, and contains some interesting special effects. 

Proof that Dante speaks to men and women of every age, and through every medium.


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