This Apostolic Letter from Pope Francis commemorates the 400th anniversary of the death of Blaise Pascal. A renowned figure from the 17th century, Blaise Pascal made significant contributions to mathematics, philosophy, and spirituality. Pope Francis reflects on Pascal's life and teachings, focusing on his mystical experience, defence of the Jansenists, and emphasis on reason and faith.
This letter emphasises Pascal's deep commitment to charity and love for others, highlighting the importance of these virtues in the Christian faith. Pope Francis encourages readers to follow Pascal's example in seeking truth, embracing conversion, and practising charity. He reminds us that life is transient and that eternal joy awaits those who strive for it.
Overall, this Apostolic Letter serves as a tribute to Blaise Pascal's legacy, offering spiritual guidance and insights into the life of a remarkable thinker, and providing inspiration for the faithful to integrate his teachings into their lives.
“Pascal was concerned to make people realise that “God and truth are inseparable”, yet he also knew that belief is possible only by the grace of God, embraced by a heart that is free. Through faith he had personally encountered “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, not the God of the philosophers and the learned”, and had acknowledged Jesus Christ as “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). For this reason…everyone who wishes to persevere in seeking truth – a never-ending task in this life – should listen to Blaise Pascal, a man of prodigious intelligence who insisted that apart from the aspiration to love, no truth is worthwhile.” (SMH 11)