Magisterial Documents: Ecclesia de Eucharistia

Encyclical Letter on the Eucharist in its Relationship to the Church Pope John Paul II
17 April 2003

The full document is available on the internet.

Brief History

Ecclesia de Eucharistia was published by Pope John Paul II in the twenty- fifth year of his pontificate. It is striking that the date and signature specifically add, "in the Year of the Rosary."
Introducing his reason for the document, the Holy Father writes:

I would like to rekindle this Eucharistic "amazement" by the present Encyclical Letter, in continuity with the Jubilee heritage which I have left to the Church in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte and its Marian crowning, Rosarium Virginis Mariae. To contemplate the face of Christ, and to contemplate it with Mary, is the "program" which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium, summoning her to put out into the deep on the sea of history with the enthusiasm of the new evangelization. (6)

For Pope John Paul II, Christ and Mary are inseparable, just as Christ and his Church are inseparable. This inseparable link is embodied in the Eucharist. He continues:

By proclaiming the Year of the Rosary, I wish to put this, my twenty-fifth anniversary, under the aegis of the contemplation of Christ at the school of Mary. Consequently, I cannot let this Holy Thursday 2003 pass without halting before the "Eucharistic face" of Christ and pointing out with new force to the Church the centrality of the Eucharist. (7)

An entire chapter of the document is devoted to Mary, Woman of the Eucharist. Reference to Mary is found in thirteen of the sixty-two paragraphs of the encyclical (6, 7, 19, 25, 53-59, 62).



I The Mystery of Faith 11-20

II The Eucharist Builds the Church 21-25

III The Apostolicity of the Eucharist and of the Church 26-33

IV The Eucharist and Ecclesial Communion 34-46

V The Dignity of the Eucharistic Celebration 47-52

VI At the School of Mary, "Woman of the Eucharist" 53-58

Conclusion 59-62


AAS (2003);
St Paul Editions, 2002
Vatican Translation

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.
Most recently updated in 2005.

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