Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Leo XIII Published Riddles Anonymously in His Latin Newspaper
Going by the pseudonym “X,” Pope Leo XIII anonymously crafted poetic puzzles in Latin for a Roman periodical at the turn of the 19th century.
The pope created lengthy riddles, known as “charades,” in Latin in which readers had to guess a rebus-like answer from two or more words that together formed the syllables of a new word.
Eight of his puzzles were published anonymously in “Vox Urbis,” a Rome newspaper that was printed entirely in Latin between 1898-1913, according to an article in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
A reader who submitted the correct answer to the riddle would receive a book of Latin poetry written by either Pope Leo or another noted Catholic figure.
The identity of the mysterious riddle-maker, however, was soon revealed by a French reporter covering the Vatican for the daily newspaper Le Figaro.
Felix Ziegler published his scoop Jan. 9, 1899, a year after the puzzles started appearing, revealing that “Mr. X” was, in fact, the reigning pope, the Vatican newspaper said July 20.
Link to Catholic Spirit..