The Theological Virtues – Hope
The Philatelic and Numismatic Office continues its series on the theological virtues and now features the virtue of hope as the subject for the 200 euro gold coin for 2013. The coin’s reverse displays hope represented by a female figure symbolically embracing an anchor, a common depiction in classical iconography. Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the Kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. “Spe salvi facti sumus”, for in hope we were saved, writes Saint Paul in his Letter to the Romans (8:24). The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Human reason cannot surpass hope. Man is unable to save himself without an intervention which goes beyond himself and a hope which rises above human expectations. Once earthly hopes are reached, they are already surpassed and unable on their own to give the full joy which can only come from God.