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Papal Encyclicals

A papal encyclical is a pastoral letter written by the Holy Father, on a pastoral issue concerning a matter of doctrine, morality, devotion, or discipline. Popes have issued this kind of letter since the earliest days of the Church, but Pope Benedict XIV was the first in 'modern times' (1740) to specifically use “an encyclical” with his Ubi primum (concerning the duties of bishops). Since then, the Popes have used encyclicals as the normal medium for teaching to the whole Church (and often also to all those of good will). Below are listed all the encyclicals of the Popes Francis, Benedict XVI, St John Paul II, Paul VI, John XXIII, Pius XII, Pius XI, Benedict XV, St Pius X & Leo XIII.

Pope Francis has written two encyclicals:

2) Laudato si' - Give Praise - on Care for our Common Home
Feast of Pentecost, 24 May 2015
1) Lumen Fidei - the Light of Faith - on faith
Feast of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 2013

Pope Benedict XVI wrote three encyclicals:

3) Caritas in veritate - Love in truth - on Integral Human Development in Charity & Truth
Feast of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 2009

2) Spe salvi - Salvific hope - on Christian Hope
Feast of St Andrew the Apostle, 30 November 2007

1) Deus caritas est - God is love - on Christian Love
Christmas Day, 25 December 2005

Pope Saint John Paul II wrote fourteen encyclicals:

14) Ecclesia de Eucharistia - the Church of the Eucharist
Holy Thursday, 17 April 2003
13) Fides et Ratio - Faith and Reason 
Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, 14 September 1998
12) Ut Unum Sint - That they may be one
Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, 25 May 1995
11) Evangelium Vitae - The Gospel of Life
Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March 1995
10) Veritatis Splendor - The Splendour of Truth
Feast of the Transfiguration, 6 August 1993
9) Centesimus Annus - One Hundred Years
Feast of St Joseph the Worker, 1 May 1991
8) Redemptoris Missio - The Mission of the Redeemer
Feast of St Ambrose, 7 December 1990
7) Sollicitudo Rei Socialis - Solicitude for social things
30 December 1987
6) Redemptoris Mater - The Mother of the Redeemer
Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March 1987
5) Dominum et vivificantem - Lord and Giver of Life
Feast of Pentecost, 18 May 1986
4) Slavorum Apostoli - Apostles of the Slavs
Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, 2 June 1985
3) Laborem Exercens - Performing Work
Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, 14 September 1981
2) Dives in Misericordia - Rich in Mercy
1st Sunday of Advent, 30 November 1980
1) Redemptor Hominis - The Redeemer of Man
1st Sunday of Lent, 4 March 1979

Pope Saint Paul VI wrote seven encyclicals:

7) Humanae Vitae - on the regulation of birth
Feast of St James, 25 July 1968
6) Sacerdotalis Caelibatus - on the celibacy of the priest
Feast of Birth of St John the Baptist, 24 June 1967
5) Populorum Progressio - on the development of peoples
Easter Sunday, 26 March 1967
4) Christi Matri - on prayers for peace during October
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, 15 September 1966
3) Mysterium Fidei - on the Holy Eucharist
Feast of St Gregory the Great, Friday 3 September 1965
2) Mense Maio - on prayers during May for preservation of peace
Feast of St Catherine of Siena, Thursday 29 April 1965
1) Ecclesiam Suam - on the Church
Feast of the Transfiguration, 6 August 1964

Pope St John XXIII wrote eight encyclicals:

8) Pacem in Terris - on establishing universal peace in truth, justice, charity & liberty
Feast of St Stanislaus, Thursday 11 April 1963
7) Paenitentiam Agere - on the need for the practice of interior & exterior penance
Sunday 1 July 1962
6) Aeterna Dei Sapientia - commemorating the 15th centenary of the death of Pope St Leo I
Saturday 11 November 1961
5) Mater et Magistra - on Christianity and social progress
Monday 15 May 1961
4) Princeps Pastorum - on the missions, native clergy & lay participation
Saturday, 28 November 1959
3) Grata Recordatio - on the rosary: prayer for the Church, missions, international & social problems
Saturday, 26 September 1959
2) Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia - on St John Vianney
Feast of St Alphonsus Liguori, Saturday 1 August 1959
1) Ad Petri Cathedram - on truth, unity and peace in a spirit of charity
Solemnity of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 1959

Pope Pius XII wrote 39 encyclicals:

39) Meminisse Iuvat - on Prayers for the Persecuted Church
Monday 14 July 1958
38) Ad Apostolorum Principis - on Communism & the Church in China
Feast of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 1958
37) Miranda Prorsus - on Motion Pictures, Radio & Television
Feast of the Birth of Our Lady, 8 September 1957
36) Le Pèlerinage de Lourdes - warning against Materialism
Tuesday 2 July 1957
35) Invicti Athletae - on St Andrew Bobola
Thursday 16 May 1957
34) Fidei Donum - on Catholic Missions, especially in Africa
Sunday 21 April 1957
33) Datis Nuperrime - lamenting the sorrowful events in Hungary & condemning the ruthless use of force
Monday 5 November 1956
32) Laetamur Admodum - renewing exhortation for prayers for peace for Poland, Hungary and the Middle East
Feast of All Saints, 1 November 1956
31) Luctuosissimi Eventus - urging public prayers for peace & freedom for the people of Hungary
Sunday 28 October 1956
30) Haurietis Aquas - on devotion to the Sacred Heart
Tuesday 15 May 1956
29) Musicae Sacrae - on Sacred Music
Christmas Day, 25 December 1955
28) Ad Caeli Reginam - on proclaiming the Queenship of Mary
Feast of Mary, Mother of God, 11 October 1954
27) Ad Sinarum Gentem - on the Supranationality of the Church
Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, 7 October 1954
26) Ecclesiae Fastos - on St Boniface
Feast of St Boniface, 5 June 1954
25) Sacra Virginitas - on Consecrated Virginity
Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March 1954
24) Fulgens Corona - proclaiming a Marian Year to commemorate the centenary of the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the Birth of Our Lady, 8 September 1953
23) Doctor Mellifluus - on St Bernard of Clairvaux
Sunday 24 May 1953
24) Orientales Ecclesias
Monday 15 December 1952
23) Ingruentium Malorum  - on reciting the Rosary
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, 15 September 1951
22) Sempiternus Rex Christus - on the Council of Chalcedon
Feast of the Birth of Our Lady, 8 September 1951
21) Evangelii Praecones - on promotion of Catholic Missions
Saturday 2 June 1951
20) Mirabile Illud - on the Crusade of Prayer for Peace
Feast of St Nicholas, Wednesday 6 December 1950
19) Humani Generis - concerning some false opinions threatening to undermine the foundations of Catholic Doctrine
Saturday 12 August 1950
18) Summi Maeroris - on public prayers for peace
Wednesday 19 July 1950
17) Anni Sacri - on a program for combatting atheistic propaganda throughout the world
Sunday 12 March 1950
16) Redemptoris Nostri Cruciatus - on the Holy Places in Palestine
Friday 15 April 1949
15) In Multiplicibus Curis - on prayers for peace in Palestine
Sunday 24 October 1948
14) Auspicia Quaedam - on public prayers for World Peace & solution of the problem of Palestine
Saturday 1 May 1948
13) Optatissima Pax - on prescribing public prayers for Social & World Peace
Thursday 18 December 1947
12) Mediator Dei - on the Sacred Liturgy
Thursday 20 November 1947
11) Fulgens Radiatur - on St Benedict
Friday 21 March 1947
10) Deiparae Virginis Mariae - on the possibility of defining the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a Dogma of Faith
1 May 1946
9) Quemadmodum - pleading for the care of the world's destitute children
Feast of the Epiphany, 6 January 1946
8) Orientales Omnes Ecclesias - on the 350th anniversary of the reunion of the Ruthenian Church with the Apostlic See
4th Sunday of Advent, 23 December 1945
7) Communium Interpretes Dolorum - appealing for prayers for peace during May
3rd Sunday of Easter, 15 April 1945
6) Orientalis Ecclesiae - on St Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria
Easter Sunday, 9 April 1944
5) Divino Afflante Spiritu - on promoting Biblical Studies
Feast of St Jerome, 30 September 1943
4) Mystici Corporis Christi - on the Mystical Body of Christ
Feast of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 1943
3) Saeculo Exeunte Octavo - on the eighth centenary of the independence of Portugal
Feast of St Anthony of Padua & Lisbon, 13 June 1940
2) Sertum Laetitiae - on 150th anniversary of the establishment of the hierarchy in the United States
Feast of All Saints, 1 November 1939
1) Summi Pontificatus - on the unity of human society
Friday 20 October 1939

Pope Pius XI wrote:

32) Ingravescentibus Malis - on the Rosary
Feast of Ss Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, the Archangels, 29 September 1937
31) Firmissimam Constantiam - on the religious situation in Mexico
Easter Sunday, 28 March 1937
30) Divini Redemptoris - on atheistic communism
Feast of St Joseph, 19 March 1937
29) Mit Brennender Sorge - on the Church and the German Reich
5th Sunday of Lent, 14 March 1937
28) Vigilanti Cura - on the motion picture
Feast of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 1936
27) Ad Catholici Sacerdotii - on the Catholic Priesthood
Friday 20 December 1935
26) Dilectissima Nobis - on oppression of the Church of Spain
Saturday 3 June 1933
25) Acerba Animi - on persecution of the Church in Mexico
Ss Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, the Archangels, 29 September 1932
24) Caritate Christi Compulsi - on the Sacred Heart
Feast of Ss Philip & James, 3 May 1932
23) Lux Veritatis - on 15th centenary of the Council of Ephesus when Mary's Divine Maternity was proclaimed
Christmas Day, 25 December 1931
22) Nova Impendet - on the economic crisis
Friday 2 October 1931
21) Non Abbiamo Bisogno - on Catholic Action in Italy
Feast of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 1931
20) Quadragesimo Anno - on reconstruction of the social order
Friday 15 May 1931
19) Casti Connubii - on Christian Marriage
Wednesday 31 December 1930
18) Ad Salutem Humani - on the 15th centenary of St Augustine's death
Easter Sunday, 20 April 1930
17) Rappresentanti in terra
Tuesday 31 December 1929
16) Divini Illius Magistri - on Christian Education
Tuesday 31 December 1929
15) Quinquagesimo Ante Anno - at the closure of the Jubilee Year
Monday 23 December 1929
14) Mens Nostra - on the promotion of the Spiritual Exercises
Friday 20 December 1929
13) Rerum Orientalium - on the promotion of Oriental studies
Feast of the Birth of Our Lady, 8 September 1928
12) Miserentissimus Redemptor - on reparation to the Sacred Heart
Our Lady of the Rosary, 8 May 1928
11) Mortalium Animos - on Religious Unity
Feast of the Epiphany, 6 January 1928
10) Iniquis Afflictisque - on the persecution of the Church in Mexico
Thursday 18 November 1926
9) Rite Expiatis - on St Francis of Assisi
Friday 30 April 1926
8) Rerum Ecclesiae - on Catholic Missions
2nd Sunday of Lent, 28 February 1926
7) Quas Primas - on the Feast of Christ the King
Friday 11 December 1925
6) Maximam Gravissimamque - on French diocescan associations
Friday 18 January 1924
5) Ecclesiam Dei - on the 300th anniversary of the martyrdom of St Giosafat
Monday 12 November 1923
4) Studiorum Ducem - on the 6th centenary of the canonization of St Thomas Aquinas
Feast of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 1923
3) Rerum Omnium Perturbationem - on St Francis de Sales
Friday 26 January 1923
2) Fin dal primo momento
Saturday 23 December 1922
1) Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio - on the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ
Saturday 23 December 1922

Pope Benedict XV wrote:

12) Fausto Appetente Die - on St Dominic
29 June 1921
11) In Praeclara Summorum - on Dante
30 April 1921
10) Sacra Propediem - on the Third Order of St Francis
6 January 1921
9) Annus Iam Plenus - on Children of Central Europe
1 December 1920
8) Principi Apostolorum Petro - on St Ephrem the Syrian
5 October 1920
7) Spiritus Paraclitus - on St Jerome
15 September 1920
6) Pacem, Dei Munus Pulcherrimum - on peace & Christian Reconciliation
23 May 1920
5) Paterno Iam Diu - on the Children of Central Europe
24 November 1919
4) In Hac Tanta - on St Boniface
14 May 1919
3) Quod Iam Diu - on the future peace conference
1 December 1918
2) Humani Generis Redemptionem - on preaching the Word of God
15 June 1917
1) Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum - appealing for peace
1 November 1914

Pope St Pius X wrote sixteen encyclicals:

16) Singulari quadam - on Labour Organizations
24 September 1912
15) Lacrimabili Statu - on the Indians of South America
7 June 1912
14) Iamdudum - on the Law of Separation in Portugal
24 May 1911
13) Editae Saepe - on St Charles Borromeo
26 May 1910
12) Communium Rerum - on St Anselm of Aosta
21 April 1909
11) Pascendi Dominici Gregis - on the doctrines of Modernists
Feast of the Birth of Our Lady, 8 September 1907
10) Une Fois Encore - on the separation of Church and State
6 January 1907
9) Gravissimo Officii Munere - on French Associations of Worship
10 August 1906
8) Pieni L'Animo - on the Clergy in Italy
28 July 1906
7) Tribus Circiter - on the Mariavites or Mystic Priests of Poland
5 April 1906
6) Vehementer Nos - on the French Law of Separation
11 February 1906
5) Il Fermo Proposito - on Catholic Action in Italy
11 June 1905
4) Acerbo Nimis - on Teaching Christian Doctrine
15 April 1905
3) Iucunda Sane - on Pope Gregory the Great
12 March 1904
2) Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum - on the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the Presentation of Jesus, 2 February 1904
1) E Supremi - on the restoration of all things in Christ
4 October 1903

Pope Leo XIII wrote 86 encyclicals:

86) Dum Multa - on Marriage Legislation
24 December 1902
85) Fin dal Principio - on Education of the Clergy
Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 1902
84) Quae Ad Nos - on the Church in Bohemia and Moravia
22 November 1902
83) Mirae Caritatis - on the Holy Eucharist
28 May 1902
82) Quod Votis - on the proposed Catholic University
30 April 1902
81) In Amplissimo - on the Church in the United States
15 April 1902
80) Urbanitatis Veteris - on the foundation of a Seminary in Athens
20 November 1901
79) Reputantibus - on the language question in Bohemia
20 August 1901
78) Gravissimas - on Religious Orders in Portugal
16 May 1901
77) Graves de Communi Re - on Christian Democracy
18 January 1901
76) Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus - on Jesus Christ the Redeemer
Feast of All Saints, 1 November 1900
75) Omnibus Compertum - on Unity among the Greek Melchites
21 July 1900
74) Paternae - on the Education of Clergy (in Brazil)
18 September 1899
73) Depuis le Jour - on the Education of Clergy (in France)
Feast of the Birth of Our Lady, 8 September 1899
72) Annum Sacrum - on Consecration to the Sacred Heart
25 May 1899
71) Quum Diuturnum - on the Latin American Bishops' Plenary Council
Christmas Day, 25 December 1898
70) Diuturni Temporis - on the Rosary
5 September 1898
69) Quam Religiosa - on Civil Marriage Law (in Peru)
16 August 1898
68) Spesse Volte - on the suppression of Catholic Institutions (in Italy)
Feast of Our Lady of Snows, 5 August 1898
67) Caritatis Studium - on the Church in Scotland
Feast of St James, 25 July 1898
66) Affari Vos - on the Manitoba School question (in Canada)
Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 1897
65) Augustissimae Virginis Mariae - on the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary
12 September 1897
64) Militantis Ecclesiae - on St Peter Canisius
1 August 1897
63) Divinum illud munus - on the Holy Spirit
9 May 1897
62) Fidentem piumque animum - on the Rosary
20 September 1896
61) Satis Cognitum - on the Unity of the Church
Feast of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 1896
60) Insignes - on the Hungarian millennium
1 May 1896
59) Adiutricem - on the Rosary
5 September 1895
58) Permoti Nos - on social conditions in Belgium
10 July 1895
57) Longinqua - on Catholicism in the United States
Feast of the Epiphany, 6 January 1895
56) Christi Nomen - on the propagation of the Faith & Eastern Churches
Christmas Eve, 24 December 1894
55) Iucunda Semper Expectatione - on the Rosary
Feast of the Birth of Our Lady, 8 September 1894
54) Litteras a Vobis - on Clergy in Brazil
2 July 1894
53) Inter Graves - on the Church in Peru
1 May 1894
52) Caritatis - on the Church in Poland
Feast of St Joseph, 19 March 1894
51) Providentissimus Deus - on the study of Holy Scripture
18 November 1893
50) Non Mediocri - on the Spanish College in Rome
25 October 1893
49) Laetitiae Sanctae - commending devotion to the Rosary
Feast of the Birth of Our Lady, 8 September 1893
48) Constanti Hungarorum - on the Church in Hungary
2 September 1893
47) Ad Extremas - on Seminaries for Native Clergy
Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist, 24 June 1893
46) Custodi di quella Fede - on Freemasonry
Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 1892
45) Inimica Vis - on Freemasonry
Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 1892
44) Magnae Dei Matris - on the Rosary
Feast of the Birth of Our Lady, 8 September 1892
43) Quarto Abeunte Saeculo - on the Columbus quadricentennial
16 July 1892
42) Au Milieu Des Sollicitudes - on the Church and State in France
16 February 1892
41) Octobri Mense - on the Rosary
22 September 1891
40) Pastoralis Officii - on the morality of dueling
12 September 1891
39) Pastoralis vigilantiae - on Religious Union (in Portugal)
25 June 1891
38) Rerum Novarum - on Capital and Labour
15 May 1891
37) In Ipso - on Episcopal Reunions in Austria
3 March 1891
36) Catholicae Ecclesiae - on Slavery in the Missions
20 November 1890
35) Dall'alto dell'Apostolico Seggio - on Freemasonry in Italy
Feast of St Teresa of Avila, 15 October 1890
34) Sapientiae Christianae - on Christians as Citizens
10 January 1890
33) Quamquam Pluries  - on devotion to St Joseph
Feast of the Assumption, 15 August 1889
32) Magni Nobis - on the Catholic University of America
7 March 1889
31) Exeunte Iam Anno - on the right ordering of Christian life
Christmas Day, 25 December 1888
30) Etsi Cunctas - on the Church in Ireland
21 December 1888
29) Quam Aerumnosa - on Italian Immigrants
10 December 1888
28) Paterna Caritas - on Reunion with Rome
Feast of St James, 25 July 1888
27) Saepe Nos - on boycotting in Ireland
24 June 1888
26) Libertas - on the nature of Human Liberty
20 June 1888
25) In Plurimis - on the Abolition of Slavery
5 May 1888
24) Quod Anniversarius - on his Sacerdotal Jubilee
1 April 1888
23) Officio Sanctissimo - on the Church in Bavaria
22 December 1887
22) Vi è Ben Noto - on the Rosary and Public Life
20 September 1887
21) Pergrata - on the Church in Portugal
Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, 14 September 1886
20) Quod Multum - on the Liberty of the Church
22 August 1886
19) Iampridem - on Catholicism in Germany
Feast of the Epiphany, 6 January 1886
18) Quod Auctoritate - proclaiming an Extraordinary Jubilee
22 December 1885
17) Spectata Fides - on Christian Education
27 November 1885
16) Immortale Dei - on the Christian Constitution of States
Feast of All Saints, 1 November 1885
15) Superiore Anno - on the Recitation of the Rosary
30 August 1884
14) Humanum Genus - on Freemasonry
20 April 1884
13) Nobilissima Gallorum Gens - on the religious question in France
8 February 1884
12) Supremi Apostolatus Officio - on devotion to the Rosary
1 September 1883
11) Cum Multa - on conditions in Spain
Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 1882
10) Auspicato Concessum - on St Francis Assisi
17 September 1882
9) Etsi Nos - on conditions in Italy
15 February 1882
8) Licet Multa - on Catholics in Belgium
3 August 1881
7) Diuturnum - on the origin of civil power
Feast of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 1881
6) Sancta Dei Civitas - on Mission Societies
Feast of St Francis Xavier, 3 December 1880
5) Grande Munus - on Ss Cyril and Methodius
Feast of St Jerome, 30 September 1880
4) Arcanum Divinae - on Christian Marriage
10 February 1880
3) Aeterni Patris - on the restoration of Christian Philosophy
4 August 1879
2) Quod Apostolici Muneris - on Socialism
28 December 1878
1) Inscrutabili Dei Consilio - on the evils of society
21 April 1878