Angelus of His Holiness Benedict XVI
Saint Peter's Square
Tuesday, 1st November 2005
SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS
Today, we are celebrating the Solemnity of All Saints, allowing
us to experience the joy of being part of the large family of
God's friends or,
as Saint Paul writes, to "share the lot of the saints in light" (Colossians 1:12).
The Liturgy re-proposes the expression, full of wonder, of the
Apostle John: "See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be
called children of God! Yet that is what we are" (1John 3:1).
Yes, to become saints means to completely fulfill what we already
are, raised to the dignity of God's
adopted children, in Christ Jesus (cf. Ephesians
1:5; Romans 8:14-17). With the Incarnation of the
Son and His
Resurrection, God wanted to
humanity to Himself and open
it up to
sharing in His own life.
Whoever believes in Christ,
Son of God, is reborn "from above",
regenerated through the work of the Holy Spirit (cf.
John 3:1-8). This mystery is
accomplished in the Sacrament of Baptism, through which
Mother Church gives
birth to "saints".
New life, received in Baptism, is not subject to
the power of death. For those who live in
Christ, death is the
passage from the
earthly pilgrimage to the Heavenly Homeland, where the
Father welcomes all of
His children "from every nation and race, people and tongue", as we read today
in the Book of Revelation (7:9).
For this reason, it is very significant and appropriate that
after the Solemnity of All Saints, the Liturgy tomorrow has us celebrate the
Commemoration of all of the Faithful Departed. The "communion of saints", which
we profess in the Creed, is a reality that is constructed here below, but is
fully made manifest when we will see God "as
He is" (1John 3:2).
It is the reality of a family bound together by deep bonds of
spiritual solidarity that unites the
faithful departed to those who are
in the world. It is a mysterious but real bond, nourished by
participation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Mystical Body of Christ/
Communion of Saints
In the Mystical Body of Christ the
souls of the faithful meet,
overcoming the obstacle of death;
pray for one another, carrying out in
charity an intimate exchange of
In this dimension of faith one understands the practice of
offering prayers of
suffrage for the dead, especially in the
Sacrament of the
Eucharist, memorial of Christ's
Pasch which opened to believers the passage to
spiritually to those who are visiting cemeteries
to pray for their deceased, tomorrow afternoon I too will
prayerfully visit the
tombs of the Popes in the Vatican Grottoes, which surround the
tomb of the
Apostle Peter. I will have a special prayer for the beloved
John Paul II.
Dear friends, may the traditional visit of these days to the
tombs of our dear departed be an occasion to fearlessly consider the
death and to cultivate that constant vigilance which prepares us to meet
serenely. The Virgin Mary,
Queen of Saints, to
whom we now turn with filial
trust, will help us.