Pope Francis has produced his third Apostolic Exhortation in five years.
The Exhortation, entitled Gaudete Et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), was released at 12 noon in Rome on Monday 9 April and can be accessed in full as a PDF here:
A Papal Exhortation is one of an array of communication methods in which the Pope can choose to communicate with his flock.
Pope Francis’ previous exhortations included Amoris Laetitia in 2016 and Evangelii Gaudium in 2013.
He also produced the significant encyclicals Laudato Si’ in 2015 and Lumen Fidei in 2013, the first year of his pontificate.
In Gaudete Et Exsultate, Pope Francis recommits to what he sees as the core business of the Church – helping people to be holy.
Aiding the ‘call to holiness’ has been a major task of the Church throughout millenia, but in this teaching moment Pope Francis uses a noticeably different tone and emphasis which is both personal and practical.
He “exhorts” followers to engage in a journey that takes place in the concrete here and now of their daily lives, in the small gestures and little things, in which they are led more and more by God’s grace.
He often uses the informal singular expression ‘tu’ (which is more striking in Latin languages than English), normally reserved for speaking to friends and family.
He has also made a concerted effort to make its language and invitation accesible to the laity, therefore it is aimed at people who live in the world, who have jobs and families and busy lives with many different pressures.
In Pope Francis’ own words: “My modest goal is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.”
In addition to the Exhortation, the following accompanying documents may add to its appreciation:
– Summary in PDF
– Questions and Answers in PDF