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Monday, November 3, 2014

The communion born of faith is not interrupted by death

Vatican City, 1 November 2014 (VIS) – “The first two days of November represent for all of us an intense moment of faith, prayer and reflection on the 'last things' in our lives. Indeed, celebrating all the Saints and commemorating all the departed faithful, the earthly pilgrim Church lives and expresses in the liturgy the spiritual bond that unites her with the heavenly Church”, explained the Holy Father to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus.

“Today's Solemnity thus helps us to consider a fundamental truth of the Christian faith that we profess in the 'Creed': the communion of saints. It is the communion that comes from faith and unites all those who belong to Christ by Baptism. It is a spiritual union that is not broken by death, but continues in the next life. In fact there is an unbreakable bond between us living in this world and those who have crossed the threshold of death. We here on earth, along with those who have entered into eternity, form one great family. This beautiful communion between heaven and earth achieves its highest and most intense manifestation in the Liturgy, and especially in the celebration of the Eucharist, which expresses and fulfils the deepest union between the members of the Church. In the Eucharist, we encounter the living Jesus and His strength, and through Him we enter into communion with our brothers and sisters in the faith, those who live with us here on earth and those who have gone before us into the next life, life without end. This reality of communion fills us with joy: it is good to have so many brothers and sisters in the faith who walk alongside us, supporting us with their help and together we travel the same road toward heaven. And it is comforting to know that we have other brothers and sisters who have already reached heaven ahead of us and who pray for us, so that together in eternity we can contemplate the glorious and merciful face of the Father”.

Finally, the Pope emphasised that in the great assembly of the saints, “God has reserved the first place for the Mother of Jesus. Mary is at the centre of the communion of saints, as a unique custodian of the bond between the universal Church and Christ, the bond of th family. … For those who want to follow Jesus on the path of the Gospel, she is a safe guide because she is the first disciple, an attentive and caring Mother, to whom we can entrust every desire and difficulty”.

After the Angelus prayer, Francis commented that this Sunday's liturgy refers to the glory of the heavenly Jerusalem, and invited the faithful to pray that the “The Holy City, dear to Jews, Christians and Muslims, that in these days bears witness to different tensions, may increasingly be the sign and harbinger of the peace that God wishes for all the human family”.

He also recalled that today in Vitoria, Spain, the martyr Pedro Asúa Mendía is beatified. “A humble and austere priest, he preached the Gospel with the sanctity of his life, catechesis and devotion to the poor and needy. Arrested, tortured and killed for having expressed his desire to remain faithful to the Lord and to the Church, he is a wonderful example of strength in the faith and witness of charity for us”.

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