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Magisterial Documents: Lumen Fidei

Magisterial Documents: Lumen Fidei

Francis, Encyclical Letter on Faith
June 29, 2013, Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul
The full document is available on the internet.

Brief Introduction

Lumen fidei (The Light of Faith, LF) is the first encyclical of Pope Francis. Issued on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29, 2013, the encyclical focuses on Christian faith in the third millennium. Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, had completed a first draft of the text before his resignation, with which he intended to complete his trilogy on the theological virtues (cf. his previous encyclicals on Christian love and hope, Deus caritas est and Spe Salvi).

Francis made additions to Benedict’s draft (cf. LF 7) and promulgated the encyclical letter within the Year of Faith, which Benedict XVI had launched on December 8, 2012 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. LF begins with an introduction reflecting on the symbolic meaning of Light for the Christian faith. The main body of LF is divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1 traces faith in God from Abraham to the resurrection of Jesus; chapter 2 discusses the relationship between reason and faith; chapter 3 emphasizes the Church's role in the transmission of the faith, and chapter 4 identifies the role of faith in the building of societies in search of the common good. The text concludes with a reflection on the faith of the Blessed Virgin Mary and with a prayer, addressing her as mother, model and teacher of faith.


Introduction (1-7)    
Faith (1)
An illusory Light (2-3)
A Light to be recovered (4-7)

Chapter I (8-22), We have believed in Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:16)
Abraham, our father in faith (8-11)
The faith of Israel (12-14)
The fullness of Christian faith (15-18)
Salvation by faith (19-21)
The ecclesial form of faith (22)

Chapter II (23-36), Unless you believe, you will not understand (cf. Is 7:9)
Faith and truth (23-25)
Knowledge of the truth and love (26-28)
Faith as hearing and sight (29-31)
The dialogue between faith and reason (32-34)
Faith and the search for God (35)
Faith and theology (36)

Chapter III (37-49), I delivered to you what I also received (cf. 1 Cor 15:3)
The Church, mother of our faith (37-39)
The sacraments and the transmission of faith (40-45)
Faith, prayer, and the Decalogue (46)
The unity and integrity of faith (47-49)

Chapter IV (50-60), God prepares a city for them (cf. Heb 11:16)
Faith and the common good (50-51)
Faith and the family (52-53)
A light for life in society (54-55)
Consolation and strength amid suffering (56-57)
Blessed is she who believed (Lk 1:45) (57-60)

© This material has been compiled by Danielle M. Peters, S.T.D.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.
Most recently updated in 2017.

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