Pope on All Saints Day: We Must Maintain Hope That We Too Can Be Saints

Also Admonishes Those Who Devastate the Earth, Believe They Are God

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Marking the Feast of All Saints Day, Pope Francis has reminded faithful that although the path to becoming a saint is not easy and brings with it difficulties, it is the only one which takes us forward and closer to God.

Speaking to those gathered for the feast day in Rome’s Verano Cemetery on Saturday evening, the Holy Father warned against those that destroy the environment thinking they are God, but also encouraged the faithful, saying we can reach sainthood by living the Beatitudes.

During the homily, Francis recalled the day’s readings, reflecting on three images presented: devastation, victims, and God.

Looking at devastation nowadays, the Pontiff said, “Man takes possession of everything, believes he is God, believes he is the king. And wars, the wars that continue raging, not exactly helping to sow the seed of life but to destroy.»

“It is an industry of destruction,” he continued. “It is also a system of life, that when things can’t be fixed they are discarded: we discard children, we discard the old, and the young are discarded without a job. This devastation that is the result of the culture of waste. We discard people.”

Francis stressed, “This is exactly what we are doing, this is what we do,» he said, noting «we destroy creation, we devastate lives, we devastate cultures, ​​we devastate values, we ravage hope.»

«How greatly we need the Lord’s strength to seal us with His love and His power to stop this mad race of destruction!”

He called for an end to the destroying of “what He has given us, the most beautiful things that He has done for us, for us to carry forward, to nurture, to bear fruit.”


Turning to the second theme of victims, Francis reminded those gathered, “This is not ancient history: it is happening today, «here» and «everywhere.»

“I will say more,” the Jesuit Pontiff added, “it seems that these people, these children who are hungry, sick, do not seem to count, it’s as if they were of a different species, as if they were not even human.”

The Holy Father pointed out there is a “multitude” of them, the victimized, who are “before God and beg, ‘Please, salvation! Please, peace! Please, bread! Please, work! Please, children and grandparents! Please, young people with the dignity of being able to work!'»

In this same group, he noted, are those being persecuted for their faith, those forced to flee, find shelter, find medicine, and survive.

While saying that “most of the world is in distress,” Francis noted that the Lord sanctifies those in distress, those being persecuted, and “the unknown saints.”

Encounter with God

Looking at the third image, God, the Holy Father asked: What should our attitude be if we want to be part of this multitude walking to the Father, in this world of devastation, in this world of war, in this world of distress?

“Our attitude,” he responded, “as we heard in the Gospel, is the attitude of the Beatitudes. That path alone will lead us to the encounter with God.”

That path alone, he said, “will save us from destruction, from destroying the Earth, creation, morality, history, family, everything.” Although this path, he admitted, will bring us bad things, trouble and persecution, it is the only one which “will take us forward.”

People who struggle onwards with the Beatitudes, hoping to find God, the Pope said, can possess the hope that “he will have pity on his people, mercy on those who are in the great distress and compassion for the destroyers that they will convert.»

To this end, Pope Francis concluded, «The holiness of the Church goes on: with these people, with us, that we will see God as He is.”


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-homily-at-all-saints-day-mass-at-rome-s-verano-cemetery

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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