“The Solemnity of All Saints is a good occasion to raise our eyes from temporal matters, which are marked by time, to the dimension of God, the dimension of eternity and sanctity”, said the Pope before praying the Angelus on November 1 with faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
“Today’s liturgy reminds us that sanctity is the primary vocation of all the baptized. In fact Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit is alone holy, loved the Church as His bride and gave Himself for her so as to sanctify her. For this reason, all members of the People of God are called to become saints. … We are, then, invited to look to the Church not only in her temporal and human guise, which is tainted by fragility, but as Christ wished her to be: a ‘communion of saints’. … Today we venerate this innumerable community of All Saints who, by their different lives, show us the different ways to sanctity, sharing the single common denominator of following Christ and conforming themselves to Him, which is the final goal of our human existence”.
Benedict XVI then went on to speak of the Feast of All Souls on November 2 which, he said, “helps us to recall our loved ones who are no more, and all the souls journeying towards the fullness of life in the horizon of the heavenly Church, to which today’s Solemnity had raised us.
“From the earliest years of the Christian faith”, he added, “the Church on earth, recognizing the communion of the entire mystical body of Jesus Christ, piously cultivated the memory of the departed and offered prayers for them. Our prayer for the dead is not only useful but necessary, in that it can not only help them but at the same time makes their intercession for us effective. Visiting cemeteries, while conserving the bonds of affection with the people we loved in this life, reminds us that we all tend towards another life, a life after death. May the sorrow of earthly separation not prevail over the certainty of the resurrection, the hope of achieving the beatitude of eternity”.