Encyclical Letter, SPE SALVI (SPE SALVI facti sumus—in hope we were saved), of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, Men and Women Religious and all the Lay Faithful on Christian Hope. Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 30 November, the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, in the year 2007, the third anniversary of Benedict’s Pontificate.
“With a hymn composed in the eighth or ninth century, thus for over a thousand years, the Church has greeted Mary, the Mother of God, as “Star of the Sea”: Ave maris stella. Human life is a journey. Towards what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by—people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way. Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us? With her “yes” she opened the door of our world to God himself; she became the living Ark of the Covenant, in whom God took flesh, became one of us, and pitched his tent among us” (cf. Jn 1:14)