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Pope leads prayers for deceased bishops, cardinals, popes

November 04, 2013

Pope Francis presided at a Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s basilica on November 4 for all the bishops who have died during the past year.

In his homily the Pope remarked that the deceased prelates are now entirely in God’s hands. “This reality, full of hope, is a view of the final resurrection, of eternal life,” he said. He concluded his homily with a prayer for these bishops, who had been “dedicated to their vocation and to their service to the Church.”

Death does not separate the faithful from the Church, the Pope had said earlier in his reflection. “Only man's sin may interrupt his bond with God,” he said. But even sin does not overcome God’s mercy, and the Almighty longs to “re-establish that union” with the sinner. The Mass for deceased bishops is an annual tradition at the Vatican, celebrated each year in November. Pope Francis had carried out another tradition on November 2, the feast of All Souls, when he visited the tombs of previous Pontiffs in the grottoes of the Vatican basilica, praying for his predecessors, “so that they may participate in the eternal liturgy of heaven.”


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