"God Is Not God of the Dead, but of the Living, " Says Pope

Pope Centers Prayers for Faithful Departed Around Eucharist

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 7, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II’s midday address on Sunday before praying the Angelus in front of several thousand pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.

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1. Popular piety dedicates the month of November to remember the faithful deceased. We pray for them with confidence, knowing that –as Jesus affirms in today’s Gospel — God «is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him» (Luke 20,38). He remains faithful to his close covenant with man, covenant that not even death can break.

2. This pact, sealed in Christ’s Pasch, is rendered constantly present in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Here, therefore, the prayer for the deceased also finds its culmination. By offering the Holy Mass for them, believers sustain them in the final purification. By approaching Holy Communion with faith, they reinforce the bonds of spiritual love with them.

3. From Paradise, may Mary Most Holy intercede for all our deceased dear ones, and reinforce in us, pilgrims on earth, faith in the final resurrection, of which the Sacrament of the Eucharist gives us the pledge.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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