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All Souls' Day: Pope Francis reminds us that hope is a gift from God
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For All Souls' Day, Pope Francis visited a cemetery in Vatican City to pray and offer Mass for the faithful departed.
Pope Francis during the 2017 All Souls' Day at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During his Mass for the souls of the departed at the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in the Teutonic Cemetery in Vatican City, Pope Francis took a moment to reflect on St. Paul's words of hope.
"'Hope does not disappoint,' St. Paul tells us. Hope attracts us and gives meaning to life... hope is a gift from God that draws us towards life, towards eternal joy. Hope is an anchor that we have on the other side."
With All Souls' Day in mind, the Holy Father made sure he prayed for all the dead at Mass. He included, "the dead without face, without voice, and without name, so that God the Father may welcome them into eternal peace, where there is no longer either anxiety or pain."
"This is the goal of hope: to go to Jesus," Pope Francis stated.
After offering Mass, the pope paused to pray at the tombs in the Teutonic Cemetery and visit the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica to pray for the souls of the deceased popes buried there.
He sprinkled the tombs in the cemetery with holy water, and paused to pray at some of the graves.
The Teutonic Cemetery, next to St. Peter's Basilica, is built on the historic site of Nero's Circus, where several early Christians were martyred, including St. Peter.
Throughout the month of November, and especially on All Souls' Day, the Church increases their efforts in honoring, remembering and praying for the dead. One of the more consistent practices during this time, according to Catholic News Agency, is to visit cemeteries, though there are several different cultural traditions during this time.
"Today in thinking of so many brothers and sisters who have died, it will do us good to look at cemeteries... and repeat: 'I know that my Redeemer lives.'" the Pope shared. "This is the strength that gives us hope, a free gift. May the Lord give it to all of us."
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