Magisterial Documents: Spe Salvi

Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter on Christian Hope
November 30, 2007
The full document is available on the internet.

Brief Introduction

Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope), promulgated on November 30, 2007, is Pope Benedict XVI’s second encyclical letter. It takes its name from Romans 8:24, Spe salvi facti sumus (in hope we were saved) and reflects on the theological virtue of hope.

The introduction links the Christian concept of hope to redemption through Jesus Christ. Articles 2-31 present a theological treatise with interspersed historical examples to highlight applications to the Christian’s daily life. Articles 32-48 describe a series of contrasts to define Christ's role in and for society and its implications for Christians. Engaging in dialogue with philosopher, theologians, and political activists who have shaped history and promised mere immanent hope, Benedict notes that early Christian sarcophagi representations of Jesus as philosopher and shepherd illustrate that Christian hope extends beyond life on earth.

The encyclical closes with the chapter "Mary, Star of Hope".


Introduction (1)

1. Faith is Hope (2-3)

2. The concept of faith-based hope in the New Testament and the early Church (4-9)

3. Eternal life – what is it? (10-12)

4. Is Christian hope individualistic? (13-15)

5. The transformation of Christian faith-hope in the modern age (16-23)

6. The true shape of Christian hope (24- 31)

7. “Settings” for learning and practicing hope

  • I. Prayer as a school of hope (32-34)
  • II. II. Action and suffering as settings for learning hope (35-40) III.
  • III. Judgement as a setting for learning and practicing hope (41-48)

Mary, Star of Hope (49-50)

© This material has been compiled by Danielle M. Peters, S.T.D.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.
Most recently updated in 2017.

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