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Category Archives: Pope John Paul II

A Leap Back to the Virtues

As there was no General Audience this Leap Day, I thought I would take a look back to some lesser known, oft-overlooked catecheses.

The Vatican website now has the English translations of Pope John Paul I’s Wednesday Audiences (there are only four of them).  As with his successors, he hit the ground running by starting up a Catechesis on the Virtues, which he described as (borrowing a phrase from Blessed Pope John XXIII) the “Seven Lamps of Sanctification.”

Only making it through the theological virtues before his untimely death, Blessed Pope John Paul II wasted no time in picking up on the theme and dedicated his very first four audiences to the cardinal virtues in order to complete what his predecessor started.

Here are the links to the audiences on the Vatican website:

  1. Introduction (September 6, 1978)
  2. The Virtue of Faith (September 13, 1978)
  3. The Virtue of Hope (September 20, 1978)
  4. The Virtue of Charity (September 27, 1978)
  5. The Virtue of Prudence (October 25, 1978)
  6. The Virtue of Justice (November 8, 1978)
  7. The Virtue of Fortitude/Courage (November 15, 1978)
  8. The Virtue of Temperance (November 22, 1978)

This makes a great Lenten meditation!


Welcome to the new and improved Catechesis of the Popes!

Welcome to the new home of Catechesis of the Popes!

I have decided to utilize the capabilities of WordPress to create a more visually pleasing site, in addition to making the content even more accessible.  The content from the old site is still here, but the tabs above make it easier to navigate between sections.

I have divided the site into two principle categories: Major Catechetical Themes and Other Themes.  The “Major Catechetical Themes” are the 13 major series of catecheses given by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI from 1979 to the present.  The “Other Themes” are more informal arrangements of various audiences around a particular theme of interest.  These other themes are the result of my own organization and should not be construed as any sort of official Church listing. They are given solely for the benefit of those who seek to delve more deeply into a given topic of study.

As this site is also fully blog-ready, I can post the latest updates on the General Audiences as they are given.  I hope this will be a beneficial addition.

As today is the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, I thought it would be appropriate to open this site with a quote from John Paul II’s audience The Value of the Suffering and Death of Jesus Christ (October 19, 1988) from his Catechesis on Jesus:

Let us raise our eyes first of all to him who is hanging on the cross, and let us ask ourselves: who is it that is suffering? It is the Son of God: true man, but also true God, as we know from the creeds. For example, the Creed of Nicaea proclaims him “true God from true God…who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, was made flesh and…suffered” (DS 125). The Council of Ephesus, on its part, declared that the “Word of God suffered in the flesh” (DS 263).

“The Word of God suffered in the flesh.” This is a wonderful synthesis of the great mystery of the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, whose human sufferings pertain to his human nature, but must be attributed, like all his actions, to the divine Person. We have in Christ a God who suffers!

It is an overwhelming truth. Tertullian had already posed the question to Marcion: “Would it be so foolish to believe in a God who was born of a virgin, precisely in the flesh and who has undergone the humiliations of nature?… Say rather that a crucified God is wisdom” (De carne Christi, 4, 6-5, 1).

This site is dedicated to the Cross of Christ, upon which is hung our salvation.  God bless you all!

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