Salvifici Doloris. Pope St John Paul II’s apostolic letter on the salvific meaning of suffering, which JPII gave us on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11 February. Pope John Paul II outlined the importance and role of suffering and evil and how love is borne out of it in Salvifici Doloris, a document that responds to the. Having familiarized ourselves with the person of John Paul II, his thinking and writings, this apostolic letter invites women to approach the question of why God .

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With his salvlfici he welcomes that question which — asked many times by men — has been expressed, in a certain sense, in a radical way by the Book of Job. The figure of the just man Job is a special proof of this in the Old Testament. Suffering is certainly part of the mystery of man.

And for this reason suffering has a special value in the eyes of the Church. Christ goes towards his Passion and death with full awareness of the mission that he has to fulfil precisely in this way.

Thus, although the world of suffering exists “in dispersion”, at the same time it contains within itself a. Christ goes towards his Passion and death with full awareness of the mission that he has to fulfil precisely in this saalvifici. His suffering is the suffering of someone who is innocent and it must be accepted as a mystery, which the individual is unable to penetrate completely by his own intelligence.

The Beauty of Suffering: Salvifici Doloris « Catholic Insight

To all of you, dearest brothers and sisters, I send my Apostolic Blessing. In the Paschal Mystery, Christ inaugurates the union with man in the community of the Church.

Human suffering is deeper than animal pain, because suffering is transcendent and involves a sense of injustice. Skip to content What follows is an executive summary of Pope St. As we see from the examples quoted, we find in Sacred Scripture an extensive list of variously painful situations for man.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. On various occasions Christ also said that his disciples and confessors would meet with much persecution, something which—as we know—happened not only in the first centuries of the Church’s life under the Roman Empire, but also came true in various historical periods and in other parts of the world, and still does even in our own time.

Gradually, as the individual takes up his cross, spiritually uniting himself to the Cross of Christ, the salvific meaning of suffering is revealed before him. Her ascent to Calvary, her presence at the foot of the Cross together with the Beloved Disciple were a completely special participation in the redeeming death of her Son, as indeed the words she was able to collect from his lips were like a solemn delivery of this Gospel to be announced to the entire community of believers.


The opposite of salvation is not, therefore, only temporal suffering, any kind of suffering, but definitive suffering: The point of reference in this case is the doctrine expressed in other Old Testament writings which show us suffering as punishment inflicted by God for human sins.

The world of human suffering unceasingly calls for, so to speak, another world: It can be said that this is “substitutive” suffering; but above all it is “redemptive”. But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, according to which it must be so? At one and the same time Christ has taught man to do good by his suffering and to do good to those who suffer.

There are other criteria which go beyond the sphere of description, and which we must introduce when we wish to penetrate the world of human suffering. In the sufferings of all of these the great dignity of man is confirmed in a particular way. This refers to physical sufferings, but it is even more true when it is a question of the many kinds of moral suffering, and when it is primarily the soul that is suffering. The Song of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah speaks of this.

This is a difficult question, just as another very similar question, namely that of evil.

Virgin Mother of the Chruch, help us always to give an account for the hope which is in us, trusting in the goodness of man and the love of the Father. Here we come to the enormous importance of having the right attitudes in education.

The mystery of the Redemption of the world is in a surprising way rooted in suffering and this, in its turn, finds in this mystery its supreme and surest point of reference. In view of all this, we can say that the parable of the Samaritan of the Gospel has become one of the essential elements of moral culture and universally human civilization. The Apostle Peter will express this truth in the following words of his First Letter: In weakness he manifested his power, and in humiliation he manifested all his messianic greatness.

At the centre of this light is the truth expounded in the conversation with Nicodemus: By your endurance you will gain your lives” It lives and develops as the body of Christ, which is the Church, and in this dimension every human suffering, by virtue of the union in the love of Christ, completes the suffering of Christ.

This will be a time for you to bear testimony. The Apostle, in fact, makes this clear when he writes of “completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church”. This is the dimension of Redemption, to which in the Old Testament, at least in the Vulgate text, the words of the just man Job already seem to herald: The only-begotten Son was given to humanity primarily to protect man against dolorus definitive evil and against this definitive suffering.


In the course of the centuries, this activity assumes organized institutional forms and constitutes a doloriss of work in the respective professions. Let us quote some examples from the books of the Old Testament of situations which bear the signs of suffering, and above all moral suffering: For he is aware that he has not deserved such punishment, and in fact he speaks of the good that he has done during his life.

This union caused Paul to write, in the same Letter to the Galatians, other words as well, no less strong: And this is the virtue of perseverance, in bearing whatever disturbs and causes harm. For suffering cannot be transformed and changed by a grace from outside, but from within. Therefore the Apostle will also write in dolofis Second Letter to the Corinthians: In itself human suffering constitutes as it were a specific “world” which exists together with man, dolors appears in him and passes, and sometimes does not pass, but which consolidates itself and becomes deeply rooted in him.

Those who suffer here on Earth are united in that suffering with Christ, dolorid died on the cross.

The Beauty of Suffering: Salvifici Doloris

It is in this light that we should see the sufferings of this life, and why they are not only to be borne with patience, but, if one can by grace muster it, even accepted with joy. For, whoever suffers in union with Christ— just as the Apostle Paul bears his “tribulations” in union with Christ— not only receives from Christ that strength already referred to but also “completes” by his suffering “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”.

It is the same when we deal with death.

Together with Mary, Mother of Christ, who stood beneath the Crosswe pause beside all the crosses of contemporary man. In this double aspect he has completely revealed the meaning of suffering. The prophet, who has rightly been called “the fifth evangelist”, presents in this Song an image of the sufferings of the Servant with a realism as acute as if he were seeing them with his own eyes: At the heart of this light is salvivici truth expounded in the conversation with Nicodemus: