In his highly anticipated first encyclical, The Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei), Pope 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.