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Pope speaks on vocation to holiness, prayers for deceased

November 02, 2011

At a midday audience on November 1, the feast of All Saints, Pope Benedict XVI reminded the faithful that all Christians are called to holiness, and everyone has a vocation to become a saint.

Looking forward to the next day, the feast of All Souls, the Pontiff said that the tradition of praying for the dead dates back to the early days of the Church, and recognizes “the communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ,” which includes the deceased. In praying for the faithful departed, the Pope observed, we keep alive our memories and our relationships with them. For the same reason, the Pope encouraged the traditional practice of visiting cemeteries during the month of November.

Pope Benedict mentioned one more benefit of prayers for the dead, noting that in thinking of those loved ones who have passed on to the next life, we are reminded that we too are preparing for our own inevitable deaths.


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