Redemptor Hominis (The Redeemer of Man)
March 4, 1979
Pope John Paul II's first encyclical, released in 1979, Redemptor Hominis (The Redeemer of Man) ties the mission of his own papacy and that of the larger Church to the mystery of Christ. John Paul speaks to the modern fears of the world and argues that though the modern world has brought much progress to humankind, it has also opened the door to human threats to the dignity and nature of all people. The pope also divulges his own private response to his election to the office, as well as gives the reasons for choosing the name John Paul. Many of these themes reappear throughout his papacy, and therefore this encyclical serves as a useful foundation for understanding his thoughts and future actions.