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Celebrities writing children’s books? That’s nothing new — the list is a mile long. Madonna and Tim McGraw have done it. So have Brooke Shields, Julianne Moore, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Jimmy Buffett, and Whoopi Goldberg, to name a few. So why not the leader of the Catholic Church?

The Vatican press announced the children’s book Gli Amici di Gesu (The Friends of Jesus) has been published under Pope Benedict XVI’s name. Although it’s not the first time the Pope has authored books, it is first children’s book. (And the first children’s book by any Pope , as far as I can find.) The Pope, a native German, wrote the book in Italian. It features a collection of the Pope’s descriptions of Jesus’ relationship with his “first companions,” including the original 12 apostles, Matthias, and St. Paul.

Lorenzo Murnigotti, editorial coordinator of the Piccola Casa Editrice publishing house, hopes to publish English and Spanish versions soon.