From the most important pope of the twentieth century, John Paul II (1920-2005), we are reading his first major work as a pope, On the Redeemer of Man (Redemptoris Mater). This work is called an encyclical because it’s a letter meant to be circulated throughout the whole church much like the early letters of Paul in the New Testament. Promulgated in 1979, this letter was John Paul II’s blueprint for the future of the church at the end of the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries. He presents Jesus as he understands him for our age and why this Jesus, as the perfect human, is the redeemer of all humanity.
”The Redeemer of Man, Jesus Christ, is the centre of the universe and of history.” (1)