(CNN)Pope Francis is having cards printed and distributed showing a 1945 photo of victims of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki along with the words “the fruit of war.”
The photo captures a boy carrying his dead brother on his shoulders while he waits for his turn at the crematory. It was taken by US Marine photographer Joe O’Donnell shortly after the bombs were dropped at the end of World War II.The leader of the world’s Roman Catholics asked that “the fruit of war” be written in the back of the card along with his signature “Franciscus.”A short caption explains the content and origin of the photo, it reads in part: “The young boy’s sadness is expressed only in his gesture of biting his lips which are oozing blood.”The Pope’s signature is above a description of the image.After the bombs dropped by the US on Nagasaki and Hiroshima forced Japan’s surrender and ended World War II in 1945, O’Donnell spent four years documenting the aftermath in the two cities, according to Library of Congress records.Read More Photos: The first use of the atomic bombThe United States detonates the world’s first atomic bomb at a test site in New Mexico on July 16, 1945. Less than a month later, atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The devastation led to Japan’s unconditional surrender and brought an end to World War II.Hide Caption 1 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombIn 1939, physicists Albert Einstein, left, and Leo Szilard drafted a letter to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging him to research atomic bombs before the Germans could build one first. By 1942, the United States had approved the top-secret Manhattan Project to build a nuclear reactor and assemble an atomic bomb.Hide Caption 2 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombIn 1942, U.S. Army Col. Leslie R. Groves, left, was appointed to head the Manhattan Project. On the right is physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who led the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.Hide Caption 3 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombLos Alamos workers pose on a platform stacked with 100 tons of TNT. It was to be used to gauge radioactive fallout. Hide Caption 4 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombThe Manhattan Project also involved research facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Hanford, Washington. Billboards, like this one in Oak Ridge, reminded workers of the project’s top-secret nature.Hide Caption 5 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombWorkers in New Mexico attach a bomb to a tower two days before its successful test in July 1945.Hide Caption 6 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombTrinity was the code name of the test bomb, which was dropped in the Jornada del Muerto desert.Hide Caption 7 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombAir Force Col. Paul Tibbetts waves from the pilot’s seat of the Enola Gay moments before takeoff on August 6, 1945. A short time later, the plane’s crew dropped the first atomic bomb in combat, instantly killing 80,000 people in Hiroshima.Hide Caption 8 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombAn aerial photograph of Hiroshima shortly after the atomic bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy,” was dropped.Hide Caption 9 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombU.S. President Harry Truman, aboard a U.S. Navy cruiser, reads reports of the Hiroshima bombing. Eight days earlier, Truman had warned Japan that the country would be destroyed if it did not surrender unconditionally.Hide Caption 10 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombA white silhouette on a Hiroshima bridge shows an area that wasn’t scorched by the bomb. It was reportedly the outline of a person’s shadow — someone who was shielded from the blast’s heat rays by another person.Hide Caption 11 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombAn elderly victim is covered with flies in a makeshift hospital in Hiroshima.Hide Caption 12 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombA worker stands next to an atomic bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” hours before it was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945.Hide Caption 13 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombThis photo was taken about six miles from the scene of the Nagasaki explosion. According to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, photographer Hiromichi Matsuda took this photograph 15 minutes after the attack.Hide Caption 14 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombSurvivors of the Nagasaki bomb walk through the destruction as fire rages in the background.Hide Caption 15 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombA woman and a child walk in Nagasaki on the day of the bombing. More than 70,000 people there were killed instantly.Hide Caption 16 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombMembers of the White House Press Corps rush to telephones after Truman announced Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945.Hide Caption 17 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombAn aerial view of Hiroshima three weeks after the atomic bomb.Hide Caption 18 of 19 Photos: The first use of the atomic bombSoldiers and sailors on the USS Missouri watch as Japan’s formal surrender is signed in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.Hide Caption 19 of 19His photos were published in the book titled “Japan 1945: A US. Marine’s Photographs from Ground Zero.”CNN’s senior Vatican analyst John Allen wrote on his website: “Though release of the photo in the run-up to New Year’s does not add anything substantive to the pontiff’s positions, it’s nevertheless the first time Francis has asked that a specific image be circulated in the holiday season, suggesting he believes its message is especially relevant at the moment.”The Pope has previously condemned nuclear weapons and highlighted the impact of conflict on children, Allen wrote.