VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The feast of All Saints should prompt Catholics to believe more deeply in eternal life, Pope Benedict XVI said.
The day “reminds us of our eternal destiny, where we will dwell, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, in true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy and gladness without end,” he said Nov. 1, reciting the Angelus on the feast of All Saints.
He urged people to “believe more strongly in eternal life and feel in true communion with our departed loved ones,” who will be commemorated on the feast of All Souls, Nov. 2.
“May the intercession of all the saints lead us and our departed loved ones to our everlasting home in heaven,” he told the pilgrims who gathered under stormy skies for the midday prayer in St. Peter’s Square.
The feast of All Saints includes a celebration of the holy men and women, “whom only God knows,” but who have not officially been proclaimed saints; they made Christ present in their lives and carried out God’s will, the pope said.
The saints show that “being united to Christ, in the church, does not negate one’s personality, but opens it up, transforms it with the power of love and confers on it an eternal dimension here on earth,” he said.
By becoming united to Christ, people also join in communion with all members of his mystical body, the church, “a communion that is perfect in ‘heaven,’ where there is no isolation, no competition or separation,” the pope said.
“On today’s feast we get a taste of the beauty of this life fully open to the gaze of love of God and neighbor, in which we are sure to reach God and one another in God,” he said.
“In the saints we see the victory of love over selfishness and death; we see that following Christ leads to life and eternal life, and gives meaning to the present … because it is filled with love and hope,” he said.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: