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All About Mary

Magisterial Documents: Sollicitudo Rei Socialis

John Paul II, Sollicitudo rei socialis encyclical on the twentieth anniversary of Populorum progressio
December 30, 1987
The full document is available on the internet.

Brief Introduction

The encyclical letter describes the theme of human development along two fundamental lines: the failed development of the Third World and the presuppositions required for human dignity. John Paul II distinguishes progress from development, arguing that true development cannot be limited to the physical wellbeing of the human person but must include spiritual and moral dimensions as well. True development must give rise to a "commitment to justice," according to each individual's role, vocation and circumstances and must find ways to condemn evil and injustice. 

Core Marian Passages

49 I have called the current Marian Year in order that the Catholic faithful may look more and more to Mary, who goes before us on the pilgrimage of faith and with maternal care intercedes for us before her Son, our Redeemer. I wish to entrust to her and to her intercession this difficult moment of the modern world, and the efforts that are being made and will be made, often with great suffering, in order to contribute to the true development of peoples proposed and proclaimed by my predecessor Paul VI.

In keeping with Christian piety through the ages, we present to the Blessed Virgin difficult individual situations, so that she may place them before her Son, asking that he alleviate and change them. But we also present to her social situations and the international crisis itself, in their worrying aspects of poverty, unemployment, shortage of food, the arms race, contempt for human rights, and situations or dangers of conflict, partial or total. In a filial spirit we wish to place all this before her "eyes of mercy," repeating once more with faith and hope the ancient antiphon: "Holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin."

Mary most holy, our Mother and Queen, is the one who turns to her Son and says: "They have no more wine" (Jn 2:3). She is also the one who praises God the Father, because "he has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away" (Lk 1:52-53). Her maternal concern extends to the personal and social aspects of people's life on earth.

Before the Most Blessed Trinity, I entrust to Mary all that I have written in this Encyclical. 

Outline

I. INTRODUCTION, 1-4
II. ORIGINALITY OF THE ENCYCLICAL POPULORUM PROGRESSIO 5-10
III. SURVEY OF THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD 11- 26
IV. AUTHENTIC HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 27 – 34
V. A THEOLOGICAL READING OF MODERN PROBLEMS 35-40
VI. SOME PARTICULAR GUIDELINES 41-45
VII. CONCLUSION 46-49


© 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 2019.

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