Bono, front man for the rock band U2, is known for his cool sunglasses and social activism. But he recently received a shout-out from L’Osservatore Romano for using Scripture in his songwriting.

In its Jan. 4 edition, writer Gaetano Vallini reviews a new book about Bono by an Italian music critic who has studied the Irish band’s lyrics and found them rife with biblical allusions. Examples aren’t hard to come by; in fact, a website — www.atU2.com — has dedicated an entire section to lyrics that reference the Bible. Among the examples:

“See the bird with the leaf in her mouth” from “Beautiful Day,” which is interpreted as a reference to Genesis 8:11, when the dove returned to Noah with an olive leaf.

“I have spoke [sic] with the tongue of angels” from “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” which could be a reference to 1 Corinthians 13:1: “If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.”

Even though this son of a Catholic father and Protestant mother no longer takes part in organized religion, the Word of God has left an obvious impression on him.