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    » 11/01/2013, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: the Saints tell us to trust the Lord and not be afraid to go against the tide



    On the Solemnity of All Saints, Pope Francis reminds us that "life's goal is not death" but heaven. The saints are not supermen, but ordinary people who lived following Jesus; people who loved others instead of hating them, in the spirit of the beatitudes. This afternoon, the Pope will celebrate Mass at the Verano cemetery and pray especially for Christians who died "because of persecution."

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "What do the Saints tell us today? They tell us to trust the Lord because He does not disappoint! The Lord is our friend; He never disappoints! With their witness, they encourage us not to be afraid of going against the tide or of being misunderstood and ridiculed when we speak about Him and the Gospel". This is the teaching Pope Francis offers for the Solemnity of All Saints, which the Catholic Church celebrates today.

    Pope Francis has often called on Christians to "go against the tide". In today's feast, he focuses on three aspects of going against the dominant mind-set. The first is victory over death. "The feast of All Saints," the pope said, "reminds us that death is not the goal of our existence, Heaven is! As the Apostle John wrote, 'We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is' (1Jn, 3:2). The Saints, God's friends, assure us that this promise will not disappoint. During their earthly existence in fact, they lived in deep communion with God, so much so that they become like Him. In the faces of their younger and more despised brothers, they saw God's face, and now they contemplate it face to face in its glorious beauty."

    The second aspect is to live the beatitudes following Jesus Christ. "To be holy," the pope noted, "is not a privilege of a few, but a vocation for everyone. Everyone can be called to walk along the path of holiness, and this path has a name and a face: Jesus Christ. He shows us the way in the Gospel: that of the Beatitudes (cf. Mt, 5:1-12). The Kingdom of Heaven is in fact for those who put their safety in God' love, not in things. It is for those who have a simple, humble heart; those who do not assume to be fair; those who do not judge others; those who know how to suffer with those who suffer and rejoice with those who rejoice; those who are merciful, not violent, who try to be artisans of reconciliation and peace."

    The third aspect is love against hate. "The Saints," Francis noted, "are not supermen, nor were they born perfect. They are people who before reaching the glory of heaven led a normal life, with joys and sorrows, struggles and hopes. But when they encountered God's love, they followed him wholeheartedly, without preconditions or hypocrisy. They spent their lives in the service of others, endured suffering and adversity without hate and responded to evil with good deeds, spreading joy and peace. Saints are men and women who have joy in their heart and pass it onto others." Indeed, "Saints did not hate," he said. "Love comes from God. From whom comes hatred? Saints do not hate."

    The pontiff also pointed out that "The Church wisely placed in close succession the feast days of All Saints and the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. Our prayer praising God and venerating the blessed spirits joins the prayer of suffrage for all who have gone before us, passing from this world to eternal life."

    Right after the Angelus prayer, Francis announced that, in the afternoon, he would got to Rome's Verano Cemetery to celebrate Mass.

    "I shall be spiritually united," he said, "with all those who are now visiting cemeteries, where those who have come before us in the sign of faith are at sleep, waiting for the day of resurrection. Specifically, I shall pray for the victims of violence, especially for the Christians who have lost their lives because of persecution."

    "In particular," he said ad-lib with reference to the many war refugees, "I shall pray for our brothers and sisters who have died of fatigue and hunger on their way to a better life. In recent days, we have seen pictures of this cruel desert. Let us hold a moment of silence to pray for these brothers and sisters of ours."

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    See also

    27/01/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: Holocaust Remembrance Day, a warning to respect human dignity
    At the Angelus, Benedict XVI speaks of Holocaust memorial Day, World Leprosy Day and Day of Prayer for Peace in Holy Land. Today's Gospel "makes us think about how we live Sunday: day of rest and family, but above all the Lord’s Day".

    19/01/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: Be followers of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away (and upon himself) the sins of the world
    At the Angelus, Pope Francis insists on Christ’s example that only love conquers evil and sin. The Church is not "a besieged citadel", but "a city set on a mountain, open, welcoming and supportive". Thanks to the Scalabrini for their efforts on behalf of migrants and against the "merchants of human flesh".

    13/01/2013 VATICAN
    Faced with the evil of the world, Christians choose the path of humility and responsibility
    Benedict XVI baptised 20 children. The society of our times, which often "views those who live the faith in Jesus as old-fashioned and outdated," also "shows that it has not understood anything about the relationship with God" that leads to a full life. On the Day of Migrants, the pontiff compares migration flows to a "pilgrimage of faith and hope."

    15/01/2012 VATICAN
    Pope: Let us pray to the Virgin Mary to favour in youth a response to God’s calling
    Parents and priests are the “mediators” who can help young people discover their vocation, especially that of total consecration. He greets representatives of Rome’s migrant communities on World Day of Migrants and Refugees and invites people to take part in the Week of prayer for Christian Unity from 18 to 25 January.

    20/06/2010 VATICAN
    Pope:candidates for priesthood do not think of security in life or social positions
    Benedict XVI ordains 14 new priests of the diocese of Rome. "Whoever wants above all to achieve a personal ambition, achieve personal success, will always be a slave to himself and public opinion." He should instead have "the courage to say yes to another will" conforming himself to God. An appeal for Kyrgyzstan.



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