SAN FRANCISCO, July 5, 2013 | Faith is the source of light, of guidance for the Christian life.
"We walk by faith, not by sight," wrote St Paul.
In his highly
anticipated first encyclical, The Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei)
Francis reflects on the meaning of faith, the beginning of God's
gracious salvation and the means by which man encounters the living God
through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.
Ignatius Press is slated to release the
encyclical as a high-quality, hardcover, deluxe edition in August, in
time for the fall celebrations of the Year of Faith.
"Ignatius Press is honored and
delighted to publish Pope Francis' first encyclical in a special
hardcover edition and to get it before the reading public," said
Ignatius Press President Mark Brumley. "This follows what we did with
Pope Benedict's encyclicals and other works."
In "The Light of
Faith", Francis draws on
key themes of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who wrote encyclicals
on charity and hope. He intended to complete the set with a reflection
on faith, which would also have underscored the Year of Faith that he
launched. Benedict's history-making retirement meant he was unable to
finish his encyclical. Francis took up the task, adding his own
insights, themes and emphases to the work begun by Benedict XVI.
According to Francis, "The Light of
Faith" is a "four-hand document." Pope Benedict, Francis notes, "handed
it to me, it is a strong document. He did the great amount of work."
Thus, although officially The Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei) is an
encyclical of Francis' and reflects his teaching ministry, it is also
reflects the work of Pope Emeritus Benedict. It's not only Francis'
first encyclical; it is also among the few encyclicals openly
acknowledged to have been written by two successors of St. Peter.