Excerpt: Similarly, We decreed a reform of studies in ecclesiastical faculties, by the Apostolic Constitution Deus scientiarum Dominus, of the twenty-fourth of May, 1931. Our special purpose in this decree was to make even broader and higher the culture and learning of priests. 6. This matter, indeed, is of so great and universal importance that We think fitting to devote to it a special Encyclical; since it is Our desire that the faithful, who already possess the priceless gift of Faith, may appreciate the sublimity of the Catholic Priesthood and its providential mission in the world; that those, too, who do not yet possess the Faith, but with uprightness and sincerity are in search of Truth, may share this appreciation with the faithful; above all, that those who are themselves called may have still deeper understanding and esteem of their vocation. This subject is particularly opportune at the present moment, for it is the end of the year which has seen extended, beyond the Eternal City to the whole Catholic world, the Jubilee of the Redemption. This Extraordinary Jubilee, at Lourdes, came, like a sunset, to a splendid close. There, under the mantle of the Immaculate, for a fervent and uninterrupted Eucharistic Triduum, gathered together Catholic clergy of every tongue and rite. Our beloved and venerated priests, never more energetic in well-doing than during this special Holy Year, are the ministers of the Redemption of which this year was the Jubilee. Moreover, this year, as We said in the Apostolic Constitution Quod nuper, commemorated, likewise, the nineteenth centenary of the institution of the priesthood. 7. Our previous Encyclicals were directed to throwing the light of Catholic doctrine upon the gravest of the problems peculiar to modern life. Our present Encyclical finds a natural place among these others, opportunely supplementing them. The priest is, indeed, both by vocation and divine commission, the chief apostle and tireless furtherer of the Christian education of youth; in the name of God, the priest blesses Christian marriage, and defends its sanctity and indissolubility against the attacks and evasions suggested by cupidity and sensuality; the priest contributes more effectively to the solution, or at least the mitigation, of social conflicts, since he preaches Christian brotherhood, declares to all their mutual obligations of justice and charity, brings peace to hearts embittered by moral and economic hardship, and alike to rich and poor points out the only true riches to which all men both can and should aspire. Finally, the priest is the most valorous leader in that crusade of expiation and penance to which We have invited all men of good will. For there is need of reparation for the blasphemies, wickedness and crimes which dishonor humanity today, an age perhaps unparalleled in its need for the mercy and pardon of God.