Vatican City, 1 November 2013 (VIS) - “The Solemnity of All Saints, which we celebrate today, reminds us that the end of our earthly existence is not death, but instead paradise!” said the Holy Father, who appeared at the window of his study at midday today to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.
The saints “are not supermen, nor were they born perfect. They are like us, like each of us, they are people who before reaching the glory of heaven lived a normal life, with joy and pain, weariness and hope”, but “when they knew God's love, they followed him with all their heart, without conditions or hypocrisy; they spent their life in the service of others, they endured suffering and adversity without hate and responding to evil with good, spreading joy and peace. … The saints never hated. Understand this: love comes from God, but where does hate come from? Hate does not come from God, but from the devil! And the Saints distanced themselves from the devil; the Saints are men and women who have joy in their hearts and transmit it to others. Never hate, but serve others, those most in need; pray and live in joy; this is the route to sanctity”.
Being saints is not a privilege of the few, “as if one had a great inheritance. All of us, in baptism, receive the inheritance of being able to become saints. Saintliness is a vocation for all. For all of us, and this is why we are called to walk the path of holiness, and this path has a name and a face: the face of Jesus Christ. He teaches us how to become saints. In the Gospel, He shows us the path: that of the Beatitudes. The Kingdom of Heaven, indeed, is for those who do not base their security in material things, but rather in the love of God; for those with a simple and humble heart, who do not presume to be right and do not judge others; for those who know how to suffer alongside those who suffer, and to rejoice with those who rejoice; who are not violent, but instead merciful and who seek to be architects of reconciliation and peace”.
In this feast, the Pope concluded, “the Saints say to us: trust in the Lord, because the Lord never disappoints”, and “they show to us through their lives that those who remain faithful to God and to His Word already experience on earth the comfort of His love, which is multiplied one hundred-fold in eternity. This is what we hope and ask of the Lord for our deceased brothers and sisters. The Church has, in her wisdom, placed in succession the feast of All Saints and the commemoration of all the faithful departed. To our prayer in praise of God and veneration of the blessed spirits we unite our prayer for the souls of those who precede us in passing from this world to eternal life”.
Following the Angelus prayer, the Pope mentioned that in the afternoon he would celebrate Mass at the Roman cemetery of Verano, and that he would pray in particular “for the victims of violence, especially for the Christians who have lost their life due to persecution” and also “for our brothers and sisters, men, women and children who have died from thirst, hunger and fatigue, journeying in search of a better life. In these days we have seen in the newspapers that cruel image of the desert; let us all pray in silence for these brothers and sisters of ours”.