VATICAN - THE POPE SAYS AT THE ANGELUS PRAYER: “IT IS IMPORTANT AND DUTIFUL TO PRAY FOR THE DEAD BECAUSE EVEN THOSE WHO DIE IN GOD’S GRACE AND FRIENDSHIP MAY STILL NEED PURIFICATION BEFORE ENTERING THE JOY OF HEAVEN ”
Vatican City (Fides Service) – At midday on Sunday 2 November, All Souls Day, Pope John Paul II recited the Angelus prayer with people gathered below his window in St Peter’s Square offering his intention for “the dead, especially those who are forgotten.”
Before the prayer the Pope said: “Today, November 2, our prayer turns to those who have left this world and are waiting to reach the heavenly city. The Church has always encouraged prayers for the dead. She calls on believers to look at the mystery of death not as the final word of human destiny but as the passage to eternal life.”
The Pope said “it is important and dutiful to pray for the dead, because even those who died in grace and in friendship with God may need more purification to enter the joy of Heaven. We pray for them in various ways also by visiting cemeteries. A visit to these holy place is an opportune time to reflect on the meaning of life on earth and to nourish, at the same time, hope in blessed eternity in Paradise.” (S.L.) (Fides Service 3/11/2003 – lines 13; words 209)
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