On All Souls Day

«The remembrance of the dead, the care for graves and prayers of repose are a witness of the confident hope, rooted in the certainty that death is not the final word on the human fate»

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Here is the translation of the Holy Father’s words before and after the recitation of the Angelus to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square today.

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Dear brothers and sisters,

Yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints, and today the liturgy invites us to commemorate the faithful departed. These two occurrences are intimately related to each other, just as the joy and tears find a syntheses in Jesus Christ that is the foundation of our faith and of our hope. On the one hand, in fact, the Church, a pilgrim in history, rejoices for the intercession of the Saints and Blesseds that sustains Her in the mission of announcing the Gospel; on the other, She, like Jesus, shares in the tears of those who suffer the departing of a loved one, and like Him and thanks to Him, resounds the thanks to the Father who has freed us from the dominion of sin and death.

Between yesterday and today, many visit the cemetery which, as this same word says, is the «place of rest», awaiting the final awakening.  It is beautiful to think that it will be Jesus who will awaken us. Jesus Himself has revealed that the death of the body is like a time of sleep from which He will awaken us. With this faith we stop– even spiritually- at the graves of our loved ones, of those who have loved us and have done good to us. But today we are called to remember everyone, even those who no one remembers. We remember the victims of war and of violence; so many «little ones» in the world crushed by hunger and poverty. We remember the unnamed people who rest in common graves. We remember our brothers and sisters killed for being Christians; and those who sacrificed their lives to serve others. We especially entrust to the Lord those who have left us in the course of this year.

The tradition of the Church has always exhorted to pray for the deceased, in particular by offering for them the Eucharistic Celebration: that is the best spiritual help that we can give for their souls, particularly those abandoned the most. The foundation of the prayers of repose is found in the communion of the Mystical Body. As the Second Vatican Council affirms, » Fully conscious of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the pilgrim Church from the very first ages of the Christian religion has cultivated with great piety the memory of the dead.» (Lumen gentium, 50)

The remembrance of the dead, the care for graves and prayers of repose are a witness of the confident hope, rooted in the certainty that death is not the final word on the human fate, since man is destined to a life without limits, which has its roots and its fulfillment in God.

We raise this prayer to God:

God of infinite mercy, we entrust to Your immense goodness all those who have left this world for eternity, where you await all humanity, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ Your Son, who died to save us from our sins.

Look not Lord, at our poverty, misery and human weaknesses when we present ourselves before You to be judged in happiness or condemned.

Gaze upon us with pity, born of Your tender heart and help us to walk the path of purification. May none of your children be lost to the eternal fires of hell, where repentance is no more.

We entrust to You Lord, the souls of our beloved departed, of those who died without the comfort of the Sacraments or who did not have the opportunity to repent, not even at the end of their life.

May no one fear the encounter with You at the end of their earthly pilgrimage, in the hope of being welcomed within the embrace of your infinite mercy.  May sister death find us in prayerful vigilance, and full of all the good we have done during our existence, be it long or short.

Lord, may nothing distance us from you on this earth, may everything and everyone support us in our ardent hope to serenely and eternally rest in You.


With this faith in the supreme destiny of man, we turn now to Our Lady, who suffered under the cross the tragedy of the death of Christ and took part in the joy of His resurrection. May She, the Gate of Heaven, help us to always understand more the value of the prayers of repose for the dead. They are close to us! May She sustain us in our daily pilgrimage on this earth and help us to not lose sight of the final goal of life which is Paradise. And we with this hope that never disappoints we move forward!

After the Angelus:

Dear brothers and sisters,

I greet the families, parish groups, the associations and all the pilgrims who come from Rome, from Italy and from so many parts of the world. In particular, I greet the faithful from the diocese of Seville (Spain), as well as those from Case Finali in Cesena and the volunteers from Oppeano and Granzette who do clown-therapy in the hospitals. I see you there. Continue doing this that does so much good for the seek. Let us greet this good people.

To all I wish a Good Sunday, in the Christian remembrance of  our deceased loved ones. Please, do not forget to pray for me.

Have a good lunch and goodbye. 

[Translation by Junno Arocho Esteves]
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