Monday, May 1, 2017

The Complete Encyclicals, Bulls, and Apostolic Exhortations: Volume 1 (Ave Maria Press)

Jorge Maria Bergoglio became the 266th Pope in 2013 at the age of 76. He was the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, and the first from the Southern Hemisphere. He is know for his informal style, breaking of tradition (not to be confused with Tradition), and personable nature. In his four years, he has spoken a great deal on various subjects, and because of who he is, he has been misquoted more times than anyone can count. It is for that reason that I always recommend people read his words, and not just listen to sound bytes. Ave Maria Press has recently made that possible with The Complete Encyclicals, Bulls, and Apostolic Exhortations: Volume 1. The volume consists of Pope Francis' five most important writings through early 2016:

Lumen Fidei - The Light of Faith encyclical
Evangelii Gaudium - The Joy of the Gospel apostolic exhortation
Misericordiae Vultus - The Face of Mercy papal bull
Laudato Si' - Praise Be to You encyclical
Amoris Laetitia - The Joy of Love apostolic exhortation

I am not going to review each of these individual works as I have spoken on them at various times, since their publication. Instead, I will comment briefly on the book. For starters, I like that these five major works are compiled into one volume. I have all of them individually, but if I were going somewhere and wanted to read them, I'd much rather carry one book than five. That being said, I worry about the durability of the book, and wish it were a nice hardcover instead. Secondly, I like that this is labeled as Volume 1. This shows promise that there will be additional volumes. The hope is that this book sells well, and that they don't decide to leave this series hanging with only one volume. Another hope of mine is that this book might inspire them to perhaps go back and do this with previous popes, like Pope Benedict XVI or Pope John Paul II, but his might take 20+ volumes. Overall, I like this book and recommend it to anyone looking to read the words of our current pontiff.

This book was provided to me for free by Ave Maria Press in exchange for an honest review.