The Pope created lengthy riddles, known as â€œcharades,â€ 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 â€œ,â€ a Rome newspaper that was printed entirely in Latin between 1898-1913, according to an article in the Vatican newspaper, Lâ€™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. [more]