11/02/2014, 00.00
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Pope: Remember the forgotten dead, victims of war, hunger and persecution

On the feast of All Souls, Francis says that "death is not the last word on the fate of the human person, because man is destined to a life without limits, which has its roots and its fulfillment in God". Mary, Gate of Heaven, "will support us in our daily pilgrimage on earth and help us not to lose sight of the ultimate goal of life which is Paradise".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - On the day when the Church and the whole Christian world commemorates the faithful departed, Catholics are called in a special way to remember the dead "that no one remembers. We remember the victims of war and violence; the many "little ones" of the world crushed by hunger and poverty" and "the anonymous who rest in common graves. We remember our brothers and sisters killed because they are Christians, and those who sacrificed their lives to serve others", said Pope Francis during his Angelus address for the Feast of All Souls.

After celebrating All Saints, we commemorated the faithful departed said Francis: "These two occurrences are intimately linked to each other, just as joy and tears find a synthesis in Jesus Christ, that is the foundation of our faith and our hope. On the one hand, in fact, the Church, a pilgrim in history, rejoices through the intercession of the saints and blessed who support her in the mission of proclaiming the Gospel; on the other, she, like Jesus, shares the tears of those who suffer the separation from loved ones, and like Him and through Him echoes thanks to the Father who has delivered us from the dominion of sin and death".

The cemetery - which people traditionally visit during these Feast days -  is a "place of rest" a symbol of waiting for the final awakening. "Jesus himself Jesus himself revealed that the death of the body is like a sleep from which he awakens us. With this faith we stop - even spiritually - at the graves of our loved ones, those who have loved us and have done good deeds for us. But today we are called to remember everyone, to remember everyone, even those who no one remembers. We remember the victims of war and violence; the many "little ones" of the world crushed by hunger and poverty. We remember the anonymous who rest in common graves. We remember our brothers and sisters killed because they are Christians; and those who sacrificed their lives to serve others. We especially entrust to the Lord, those who have left over the last year".

Church tradition, the Pope reminds us, "has always urged prayer for the dead, in particular by offering the celebration of the Eucharist for them: it is the best spiritual help that we can give to their souls, particularly to the most abandoned ones. The foundation of prayers is in the communion of the Mystical Body". This is why "Remembering the dead, caring for their graves and prayers of suffrage, are witness of confident hope, rooted in the certainty that death is not the last word on human fate, death is not the last word, because man is destined to a life without limits, which has its roots and its fulfillment in God".

The Pope then raised a spontaneous prayer to God, that in His infinite Mercy  "none of Your children be lost to the eternal fires of hell, where repentance is no more" and that He remember the dead, " 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". With this faith in the ultimate destiny of man, the Pope concluded, "we now turn to the Virgin Mary, who suffered the drama of Christ's death under the Cross and participated in the joy of His resurrection. May she, Gate of Heaven, help us to understand more and more the value of prayers for the dead. They are close to us. May she support us in our daily pilgrimage on earth and help us not to lose sight of the ultimate goal of life which is Heaven. And we with this hope that never disappoints we move forward!"

 

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