Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Friday, 1st November, marking the solemnity of All Saints and afterwards prayed for the migrants who died in the desert or drowned at sea. The Mass was celebrated at the entrance of Rome's Verano cemetery and took place exactly 20 years after the last papal visit there.
In his homily which was spoken entirely off the cuff, Pope Francis said our thoughts on this occasion go to "those who have preceded us and who are now in heaven with the Lord. " And they are there, he continued, "because they were saved by Christ." They were not saved merely because of their good works although they did those as well.
The Pope reminded us that "we can only enter the doors of Heaven thanks to the blood of Christ." It is he who judges us and who opens the door to Heaven. This is our hope, he continued, and if we walk the path of Christ, accompanied by this hope, "He will never let us down."
Recalling how "the early Christians depicted hope as an anchor," the Pope said this was a beautiful image. "Hope is having our hearts anchored to our loved ones, our ancestors, to where the saints are, where Christ is, where God is." This, he said, is our hope.
Each of us in these days, the Pope continued, may think "about the end of our lives" and we must "look forward to it with hope and with the joy of being received by the Lord." We must ask ourselves, "where is my heart anchored" and make sure it is well anchored in that shore.
At the end of the mass, the Pope prayed for the migrants who died in the desert or who drowned in the sea in their attempt to reach Europe.