Visiting a cemetery on the feast of All Souls can evoke feelings of loss and sadness, but for Christians marking the feast, it also is an affirmation of hope in the Resurrection, Pope Francis said.
Through his death on the cross, Jesus “opened for us the door of hope where we will contemplate God,” the pope said at an evening Mass amid the tombs of Rome’s Prima Porta cemetery on 2nd November.
“The hope of the Resurrection never fails us,” the pope said. “The first one who walked this path was Jesus. We will walk the path he has walked.”
As the sun set among scattered gray clouds, hundreds of people attending the Mass were seated along the cemetery walkway, surrounded by the burial plots of countless loved ones. Just before beginning the Mass, Pope Francis, dressed in a purple chasuble, laid roses in front of a tomb within the walls of the cemetery’s mausoleum.
Reflecting on the feast day’s first reading from the Book of Job, the pope noted that in the midst of suffering and darkness, “Job proclaims hope.”
Picture: Pope Francis visits the Prima Porta Cemetery in Rome, Italy on 2nd November 2016 after the celebration of a Mass for the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed. Photo by ABACA ABACA/PA Images.