people is the creator of their own culture and the
protagonist of their own history. Culture is a dy-
namic reality which a people constantly recreates;
each generation passes on a whole series of ways
of approaching different existential situations to
the next generation, which must in turn reformu-
late it as it confronts its own challenges. Being
human means âbeing at the same time son and
father of the culture to which one belongsâ.
Once the Gospel has been inculturated in a peo-
ple, in their process of transmitting their culture
they also transmit the faith in ever new forms;
hence the importance of understanding evan-
gelization as inculturation. Each portion of the
people of God, by translating the gift of God
into its own life and in accordance with its own
genius, bears witness to the faith it has received
and enriches it with new and eloquent expres-
sions. One can say that âa people continuously
evangelizes itself â.
Herein lies the importance
of popular piety, a true expression of the sponta-
neous missionary activity of the people of God.
This is an ongoing and developing process, of
which the Holy Spirit is the principal agent.
II, Encyclical Letter
Fides et Ratio
tember 1998), 71: AAS 91 (1999), 60.
, 23 March 1979, 450;
, 29 June 2007, 264.
II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation
Ecclesia in Asia
(6 November 1999), 21: AAS 92 (2000), 482-484.