VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As 2017 was drawing to a close, the horrors of war and people’s yearnings for peace were on Pope Francis’ mind and in his prayers.
In an unusual move late Dec. 30, the pope had the Vatican press office and Vatican media distribute a copy of a famous photograph from the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
The photo shows a young boy, about 10 years old, carrying his dead little brother on his back. The boy is taking his brother to be cremated.
On the back of the card, Pope Francis wrote, “The fruit of war” and signed his name.
Below his signature, the pope explained that the photo was taken by U.S. Marine Corps photographer Joseph Roger O’Donnell. After the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, O’Donnell was assigned to document the scenes.
“The sadness of the child is expressed only by his lips, bitten and oozing blood,” the pope wrote.
The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, printed a copy of the photograph and pope’s explanation on the back page of its edition for Jan. 1, the Catholic Church’s World Peace Day.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: