Bono: ‘J is for Jesus’

By Michael W. Chapman | January 8, 2015 | 6:56pm EST

( -- U2 frontman Bono, who is also a businessman, a philanthropist, and a Christian, recently wrote in his Little Book of a Big Year: Bono’s A to Z of 2014 on the U2 website that the letter J “is for Jesus,” noting “the historic truth that is the birth of Jesus” and that the Christmas story “still brings me to my knees,” and adding that, “To me this is not a fairy tale but a challenge.”

Bono kisses the crucifix of Jesus on a rosary during a concert. (AP)

Bono says he wrote the alphabet book because it “is all the communication I can manage for the first half of 2015” after suffering a very rough bicycle accident in November, during which he blacked out and woke up “in New York Presbyterian with my humerus bone sticking through my leather jacket.” He is still recovering.

In the book/blog entry, Bono says, “J IS FOR JESUS.  At this time of year some people are reminded of the poetic as well as the historic truth that is the birth of Jesus.”

“The Christmas story has a crazy good plot with an even crazier premise,” says Bono.  “[T]he idea goes, if there is a force of love and logic behind the universe, then how amazing would it be if that incomprehensible power chose to express itself as a child born in shit and straw poverty.”

Bono's picture from the island of Patmos, where John the Evangelist wrote the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. (Photo:

“Who could conceive of such a story?” he says.  “If you believe it was the protagonist, as I do, then we should try to be really respectful of people who think the whole thing is a bit nutty or worse... Religious people are the best and worst of us...handle us with skepticism.”

Bono then notes that some of the most intelligent scientists in the world believe in God. He writes, “Strangely, maybe, some of the most rational thinkers see some kind of cosmic sense in all this... Francis Collins, who led the human genome project, is an obvious one… the language of science and faith are not necessarily at odds.”

He then talks about how he and his family – his real name is Hewson – went to the island of Patmos in Greece to visit the cave where John the Evangelist wrote the New Testament Book of Revelation.   

“Earlier this year the Hewsons got to see the view that John had as he wrote the Book of Revelation in a cave on the Greek island of Patmos,” says the rock singer and investor, who has an estimated net worth of  $600 million.

“I can't make head nor tail of that book but I love the idea that he was taken by a vision,” Bono writes, “a poetic rhapsody of man describing what looks like a nuclear firestorm ending the world.”

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Bono also writes about the Catholic chapel, Chapelle du Rosaire, designed by artist Henri Matisse, and which is in Vence, in southern France.

“Almost as glorious as that cave is the Matisse Chapel in Vence, France, which we visited this year with a friend on her birthday,” writes Bono.  “The birthday girl couldn't get over the fact that Matisse designed not only the stained glass but the priests' vestments which can only be described as, eh, 70s Funkadelic. The chapel opened in 1951.”

He then concludes: “But back to the Christmas story that still brings me to my knees -- which is a good place for me lest I harm myself or others. Christmas is not a time for me to overthink about this child, so vulnerable, who would grow so strong... to teach us all how vulnerability is the route to strength and, by example, show us how to love and serve.” 

“To me this is not a fairy tale but a challenge,” says Bono.  “I preach what I need to hear.”

Part of the interior of the Matisse-designed chapel, Chapelle du Rosaire, in Vence, France. (AP)

Bono (Paul David Hewson), 54, is married to Alison Hewson, and they have two daughters and two sons. In the “high energy bicycle accident” in Central Park on Nov. 16, Bono fractured an eye socket, his shoulder blade and the left humerus bone in his upper arm.

“The latter injury was particularly damaging, with the bone shattering in six different places and tearing through his skin,” reported Rolling Stone.

In an interview in 2013, Bono explained his faith in Jesus Christ, that he and his family pray together, and that he firmly believes that Jesus is “the Son of God,” that He rose from the dead, and that He made promises to the world that will come true.

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