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Magisterial Documents: Novo Millennio Ineunte

Magisterial Documents: Novo Millennio Ineunte

Apostolic Letter at the Close of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 Pope John Paul II
6 January 2001

The full document is available on the internet.

Brief History

Novo Millennio Ineunte was published by Pope John Paul II at the conclusion to the millennial year of celebrations commemorating the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Holy Father writes:

At the beginning of the new millennium, and at the close of the Great Jubilee during which we celebrated the two thousandth anniversary of the birth of Jesus and a new stage of the Church's journey begins, our hearts ring out with the words of Jesus when one day, after speaking to the crowds from Simon's boat, he invited the Apostle to "put out into the deep" for a catch: "Duc in altum." (Lk 5:4) (1)

This was the purpose of the many celebrations, each of which focused on specific groupings of people with varied religious, scholarly, and cultural interests (see contents list below).

The Holy Father continues by recalling that the turn of the millennium occurred thirty-five years after the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. This period was a time of renewal. For Pope John Paul II, this renewal was to lead the Church to new depths of love and knowledge in order, as he states, that her peoples "would examine how far she had renewed herself, in order to be able to take up her evangelizing mission with fresh enthusiasm."(3) He wonders if the Church has succeeded in this aim.

Again stating the purpose, of this letter he writes:

Now is the time for each local Church to assess its fervor and find fresh enthusiasm for its spiritual and pastoral responsibilities, by reflecting on what the Spirit has been saying to the People of God in this special year of grace, and indeed in the longer span of time from the Second Vatican Council to the Great Jubilee. It is with this purpose in mind that I wish to offer in this Letter, at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year, the contribution of my Petrine ministry, so that the Church may shine ever more brightly in the variety of her gifts and in her unity as she journeys on. 3

Reference to Mary and her role in this renewal is found seven times in the document. [5, 11, 18, 21, 24, 58, 59]


Introduction 1-3


The fullness of time 5
The purification of memory 6
Witnesses to the faith 7
A pilgrim Church 8
Young people 9
The variety of the pilgrims 10
The International Eucharistic Congress 11
The ecumenical dimension 12
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 13
International debt 14
New energies 15


The witness of the Gospels 17-18
The life of faith 19-20
The depth of the mystery 21-23
The Son's face 24
A face of sorrow 25-27
The face of the One who is Risen 28


Holiness 30-31
Prayer 32-34
The Sunday Eucharist 35-36
The Sacrament of Reconciliation 37
The primacy of grace 38
Listening to the Word 39
Proclaiming the Word 40-41


A spirituality of communion 43-45
The diversity of vocations 46-48
Stake everything on charity 49-50
Today's challenges 51-53
Dialogue and mission 54-56
In the light of the Council 57

Conclusion – Duc in altum! 58

Core Marian Passages

At the beginning of this new century, our steps must quicken as we travel the highways of the world. Many are the paths on which each one of us and each of our Churches must travel, but there is no distance between those who are united in the same communion, the communion which is daily nourished at the table of the Eucharistic Bread and the Word of Life. Every Sunday, the Risen Christ asks us to meet him as it were once more in the Upper Room where, on the evening of "the first day of the week" (Jn 20:19) he appeared to his disciples in order to "breathe" on them his life-giving Spirit and launch them on the great adventure of proclaiming the Gospel.

On this journey we are accompanied by the Blessed Virgin Mary to whom, a few months ago, in the presence of a great number of Bishops assembled in Rome from all parts of the world, I entrusted the Third Millennium. During this year I have often invoked her as the "Star of the New Evangelization". Now I point to Mary once again as the radiant dawn and sure guide for our steps. Once more, echoing the words of Jesus himself and giving voice to the filial affection of the whole Church, I say to her: "Woman, behold your children"(cf. Jn 19:26).

Dear brothers and sisters! The symbol of the Holy Door now closes behind us, but only in order to leave more fully open the living door which is Christ. After the enthusiasm of the Jubilee, it is not to a dull everyday routine that we return. On the contrary, if ours has been a genuine pilgrimage, it will have as it were stretched our legs for the journey still ahead. We need to imitate the zeal of the Apostle Paul: "Straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil 3:13-14). Together, we must all imitate the contemplation of Mary, who returned home to Nazareth from her pilgrimage to the Holy City of Jerusalem, treasuring in her heart the mystery of her Son (cf. Lk 2:51). 59


AAS 93 (2001):
St Paul Editions, 2001
Vatican Translation

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk and Danielle M. Peters, S.T.D.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.
Most recently updated in 2018.

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