Pope Francis: Saints are our sincere friends

by FLL Editorial Team

(Vatican News) On the Solemnity of All Saints, Pope Francis speaks about the call to holiness and how it is both a gift from God and a journey to be made together with our brothers and sisters and all the Saints who are companions along the way.

Pope Francis greeted pilgrims and visitors in Saint Peter's Square on Wednesday, November 1st, the Solemnity of All Saints. Before leading the recitation of the midday Angelus prayer, the Pope said that on All Saints Day we remember our call to holiness. He explained how it is a gift from God that we embrace and a journey we embark upon together, with the Saints accompanying us always along the way.

The gift of holiness

The Pope explained how the gift of holiness has come with our baptism and we need to nurture it so that it can grow and transform our lives. The Saints started out like us, the Pope pointed out, receiving the same gift we have received, and they are our friends who are very close to us, accompanying us on our journey.

We have certainly encountered some saints in our daily lives, the Pope remarked, a just person who lives out the Christian vocation with commitment and simplicity, people he likes to call "the saints next door." And holiness is a gift offered to all for "a happy life."

“When we receive a gift, what is our first reaction? It is precisely that we are happy, because it means that someone loves us; and the gift of holiness makes us happy because God loves us.”

Welcoming holiness

As with any gift, when we choose to accept it and show our gratitude, the Pope explained, when we welcome God's gift of holiness, we take on a responsibility to maintain and build on the holiness we have received.

A journey in good company

“Holiness is also a journey, a journey to be made together, helping each other, united with those excellent companions who are the Saints.”

The Pope emphasized how the Saints are "our elder brothers and sisters, on whom we can always count," as they can help us when we make mistakes and get on the right path again, like "sincere friends, whom we can trust because they desire our wellbeing."

Their lives and witness in faith provide us with inspiration, the Pope said, and "in their prayers, we receive help" and united with them we embrace one another in "a bond of brotherly love."

Lives of the Saints

In conclusion, the Pope encouraged everyone to know more about the lives of the Saints and learn from them how to face their own challenges in life. He also suggested personal reflection by remembering that in receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit we are called to holiness and always sustained and helped along the way. And the Saints are close to us, we can turn to them in prayer, in communion with them in our gratitude to God for all He has given us and the eternal happiness He calls us to.

“May Mary, Queen of all Saints, help us feel the joy of the gift received and increase in us the desire for the eternal destination.”

Source: Pope on All Saints: We are called to holiness, a gift and journey together