English Contact:
Stephanie Newton
Telephone: (615) 902-2320
Email: snewton@thomasnelson.com
Spanish Contact:
Jake Salomon

Telephone: (615) 902-1871

Email: jake.salomon@harpercollins.com

(NASHVILLE, TN) – On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio, became the 266th pope, replacing Benedict XVI. Thomas Nelson will publish “Francis: Man of Prayer,” a book with biographical data, allowing readers to better understand what it means to have the first Latin American pope, studying his background and beliefs to determine the future of the Catholic church. Francis” will ship to stores on April 10, 2013, in Spanish and April 17, 2013, in English.

Written by Spanish historian and writer Mario Escobar, “Francis” will serve not only as a biography, but as a tool to identify the challenges the church is facing today. Escobar believes Pope Francis, must have a global view, should be a pastor, missionary and someone who can govern, who is able to take control of the situation and to reform the church.
“We are honored to be able to publish one of the first biographies available on this humble man who has suddenly become the head pontiff of over 1 billion believers around the world,” says Matt Baugher, Senior Vice President and Publisher for W Publishing Group. “The position of Pope carries with it far more than simply being the spiritual leader of Catholics. He is followed as a key representative of all Christian believers as he interacts with both political heads of state and spiritual leaders from all over the globe. His appointment is critical in matters both temporal and eternal. So, who is this man behind the position? This book seeks to make him known and in his humanity, perhaps we will find our own strength to lead, and to follow.”
Escobar says Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, is a man of prayer, a man of action and a humble man who has always promoted others over himself. In fact, it was Bergoglio who bowed out of the running in the papal election of 2005 to facilitate the rise of Benedict XVI.
However, the new pope faces a Catholic Church in crisis—a church that has lost the media pull of John Paul II and is still hounded by scandals and the filtration of documents from former papal administrations. His first year may not be an easy one but neither this man nor the church itself has ever shied away from the challenges thrust upon them.
Pope Francis is austere and simple but has vast theological training. He is a man of his time but one who also travels by subway and bus just like any other citizen. Tirelessly fighting poverty and marginalization, he is a beacon of hope for the poor, persecuted sectors of the church. “Francis” is the complete biography of a humble man who has suddenly become one of the most powerful and influential men on the planet.
Mario Escobar has a masters degree in modern history and has written numerous books and articles about the Inquisition, the Catholic Church, the Protestant Reformation, and religious sects. Passionate about history and its mysteries, Escobar has delved into the depths of church history, the different sectarian groups that have struggled therein, and the discovery and colonization of the Americas.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is a world leading provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years. The publishing group provides multiple formats of award-winning Bibles, books, gift books, cookbooks, curriculum and digital content, with distribution of its products in more than 100 countries. Thomas Nelson, is headquartered in Nashville, TN with additional offices in Plano, TX. For additional information, please visit www.thomasnelsoncorporate.com.