The first Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis.
“The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.”
– Pope Francis (Evangelii Gaudium)
Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a young man, he worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before entering the Jesuits. He was ordained a priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979, was Argentina’s Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and was appointed a Cardinal in 2001.
Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, Bergoglio was named his successor on 13 March. He chose the name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is the first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from the Americas, the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first non-European Pope in over 1200 years.
Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, and his commitment to dialogue as a way to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and faiths.
Though well covered by all the media on its appearance this English language edition of the Pope’s first apostolic exhortation may come to be seen as an import landmark document, similar to Mater et Magister issued by John XXIII.
This challenge to ‘complacency at every level’ should be widely read by all Catholics, who have no need to depend on media presentations and resumes, when for a few euro they can own and carefully consider what such documents really say.
If the Pope is calling for a re-examination of priorities and values, that is not just a message to the cardinals and the Curia, it is message to all Catholics, and perhaps beyond that to all Christians.
– The Irish Catholic, 9 January 2014