For the first time, all five major writings of Pope Francis—his encyclicals, bulls, and apostolic exhortations—are gathered into one volume.
Pope Francis—the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church—was elected on March 13, 2013. Since then, he has been the most influential religious leader in the world, drawing praise and admiration from people of all faiths.
The impact of his writings has been felt not just in the Catholic Church for which they were intended but throughout the world. Each of the five works collected in The Complete Encyclicals, Bulls, and Apostolic Exhortations is a book unto itself, so this volume is one that can be cherished, read, and reread by all Catholics and devotees of Pope Francis for many years to come.
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.
Pope Francis is a revolutionary. The revolution he proposes, however, is not a matter of economic or political prescription, but a revolution in the self-understanding of the Catholic Church: a re-energizing return to the pentecostal fervor and evangelical passion from which the church was born two millennia ago, and a summons to mission that accelerates the great historical transition from institutional-maintenance Catholicism to the Church of the New Evangelization.
- George Weigel
Pope Francis’s groundbreaking new document Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) asks the Church to meet people where they are, to consider the complexities of people’s lives, and to respect people’s consciences when it comes to moral decisions. The apostolic exhortation is mainly a document that reflects on family life and encourages families. But it is also the pope’s reminder that the Church should avoid simply judging people and imposing rules on them without considering their struggles.
- Rev. James Martin, S.J
"Laudato Si' is an earthquake. . . . (It) seems destined to go down as a major turning point, the moment when environmentalism claimed pride of place on par with the dignity of human life and economic justice as a cornerstone of Catholic social teaching. It also immediately makes the Catholic Church arguably the leading moral voice in the press to combat global warming and the consequences of climate change.
- John L. Allen Jr.