121 / From Passion to Paschal Mystery

A Recent Magisterial Development concerning the Christological Foundation of the Sacraments

Dominic M. Langevin, O.P.

2015 X-406 pages, paperback

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“One Lord, one faith, one baptism”: from its beginning, the Christian tradition has emphasized the connection between Christ and his sacraments. The saving rites of the Church confer the grace of Christ and, additionally, a participation in the salvific events of his earthly life. Which events? From Passion to Paschal Mystery explores the varying answers given by the Church’s magisterium in the twentieth century.

An earlier sacramental theology focused on Christ’s Passion. At the Second Vatican Council, this was broadened to include Christ’s Resurrection: thus, the entire Paschal mystery. The book’s first part demonstrates historically this shift through textual analysis of Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Mediator Dei (1947), the Second Vatican Council’sSacrosanctum Concilium (1963), and Pope John Paul II’s Catechism of the Catholic Church (1997).

The second part of From Passion to Paschal Mystery traces the theological and historical foundations for this development. A ressourcement in Catholic liturgical and theological life expanded the framework for sacramental reflection.  Focusing on baptism and the Eucharist, the book connects the magisterium’s recent sacramental teaching to Christology, soteriology, liturgy, and eschatology. The insights of St. Thomas Aquinas are shown to have been of paramount importance in these theological deliberations.


This book – in its original form as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland – received the St. Thomas Aquinas Dissertation Prize from the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal, Ave Maria University, Florida, U.S.A.


Fr. Dominic M. Langevin, O.P., teaches dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.