While it's sad to think about our own death, we can never be truly hopeless because of Christ's Resurrection, Pope Francis said on All Souls Day yesterday at a cemetery outside of Rome, according to the Catholic News Agency.
“The commemoration of the dead has a dual meaning,” Francis said. “Sadness mixes with hope, and this is what we all feel today in this celebration. The memory of our loved ones, in front of their remains, and hope.”
“But we also feel that this hope helps, because we too have to make this journey! All of us will make this journey. Sooner or later, but everyone. With pain, some more some less, but all. But with the flower of hope, with that strong thread of hope that is anchored in the hereafter.”
Traditionally, popes have gone to Rome's 19th century Campo Verano cemetery to celebrate Mass for the Feast of All Souls.
But this year Pope Francis celebrated the Mass at the Prima Porta Cemetery on the northern outskirts of Rome.
After the Mass, he went to the grottoes beneath the Vatican for a moment of private prayer for the deceased popes.
The cemetery was consecrated in 1941 and is considered to be a masterpiece of contemporary architecture.
Photo: Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Prima Porta cemetery on the Feast of All Souls Day (L'Osservatore Romano)
Pope celebrates Mass for the departed (Vatican Insider)