Spe Salvi, the 2nd encyclical letter of Pope Benedict XVI is a profound, tightly reasoned, but very readable meditation on the theological virtue of hope.

Following the usual practice, the encyclical takes its title from the first words of the document, a quotation from the 8th chapter of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans: Spe salvi facti sumus– “For in this hope we were saved.” The 76-page document, presented in 8 chapters, explains the Christian understanding of hope, and contrasts it with the hope that modern secularists place in ideological systems.

Christians have confidence in their eternal fate, the Pope said. “The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life.” We have built a link to the encyclical on our website. The complete text of the encyclical is available on the Vatican’s website.