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Pope Francis releases exhortation on the call to holiness

Cover of Gaudete et Exsultate"What follows is not meant to be a treatise on holiness, containing definitions and distinctions helpful for understanding this important subject, or a discussion of the various means of sanctification. 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. For the Lord has chosen each one of us 'to be holy and blameless before him in love' (Eph 1:4)." ("Gaudete et Exsultate", (Rejoice and Be Glad), Introduction)

On Monday, April 9, Pope Francis released the third exhortation of his papacy. "Gaudete et Exsultate" (Rejoice and Be Glad) follows his exhortations on "Evangelii Gaudium" (Joy of the Gospel) in 2013 and "Amoris Laetitia" (The Joy of Love) in 2016.

In the document Pope Francis speaks about 'the saints next door' and why we should look to our parents, grandparents, and neighbors as examples of how to live a life of holiness.

He also explains how The Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-12; Lk 6:20-23) "are like a Christian's identity card. So if anyone asks: 'What must one do to be a good Christian?', the answer is clear. We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount. [66] In the Beatitudes, we find a portrait of the Master, which we are called to reflect in our daily lives." ("Gaudete et Exsultate," (Rejoice and Be Glad), 63)

Prayer and being part of community are two essential items for living out our call to holiness in today's world, he wrote in the document.

Pope Francis ends the document focusing on discernment. "If we ask with confidence that the Holy Spirit grant us this gift, and then seek to develop it through prayer, reflection, reading and good counsel, then surely we will grow in this spiritual endowment." ("Gaudete et Exsultate", (Rejoice and Be Glad), 166)

An apostolic exhortation is the second-highest form of papal teaching after an encyclical letter.

The exhortation was signed on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph.

Read the entire exhortation

Read the statement from Cardinal DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), on the new exhortation.

Order your copy of "Gaudete et Exsultate"



 [66] Cf. Homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta, 9 June 2014: L’Osservatore Romano, 10 June 2014, p. 8.
Cover credt: CNS/Vatican Media