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Pope Francis celebrates Mass on All Souls Day for bishops and cardinals who died in the past 12 months, at St Peter’s Basilica yesterday (CNS Guglielmo/Mangiapane, Reuters)

Pope Francis said yesterday that as Christians await their death and the final judgement of God, the Gospel tells them what they must do to be welcomed into heaven: Love others because God is love. Source: CNS.

In life “we are in the waiting room of the world,” hoping to hear Jesus say, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father,” the Pope said during a Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, the feast of All Souls.

Pope Francis celebrated the Mass with special prayers for the nine cardinals and 148 archbishops and bishops who died between October 30, 2021, and October 17 this year.

After the Mass, the Pope visited the Vatican’s Teutonic Cemetery, a medieval cemetery now reserved mainly for German-speaking priests and members of religious orders.

The Gospel reading at the Mass was St Matthew’s description of the last judgement when those who fed the hungry, welcomed the stranger and visited the prisoner are welcomed into God’s kingdom, and those who neglected to care for others are sent into “the eternal fire”.

While praying for those who have died, he said, the feast day also is a call to “nurture our expectation of heaven” and question whether one’s strongest desires are for union with God or for earthly status and pleasures that will pass away.

“The best careers, the greatest achievements, the most prestigious titles and accolades, the accumulated riches and earthly gains — all will vanish in a moment,” the Pope said.

But the Gospel of Matthew makes clear what will last, he said: love and care for others, especially the poor and those usually discarded by society.


Showing love, mercy are key to entering heaven, pope says on All Souls’ Day (By Cindy Wooden, CNS)