Pope Francis led the faithful in the midday Angelus on this feast of All Saints.
His brief reflection on the day’s celebration is below.
Note that this is not an official Vatican translation.
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. In light of this feast, let us pause a bit to think about holiness, particularly about two characteristics of true holiness: It is a gift — it is a gift, it cannot be bought — and at the same time it is a journey. A gift and a path.
First, a gift. Holiness is a gift from God that we received at Baptism: If we let it grow, it can completely change our lives (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, 15). The saints are not unattainable or distant heroes, but they are people like us, they are our friends, whose starting point is the same gift we received: Baptism.
Indeed, if we think about it, we have certainly met some of them, some everyday saints, some righteous people, some people who live the Christian life seriously, with simplicity … they are what I like to call “the saints next door,” who normally live among us. Holiness is a gift offered to everyone for a happy life. And after all, when we receive a gift, what is the 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.
Holiness is a gift offered to everyone for a happy life.
However, every gift must be accepted, and it brings with it the responsibility of a response, a “thank you.” But how is this thank you said? The gift is an invitation to commit ourselves so that it is not wasted. All the baptized have received the same call and “must hold on to and complete in their lives this holiness they have received” (Lumen Gentium, 40).
And for this reason — we come to the second point — holiness is also a journey, a journey to be made together, helping each other, united with those excellent companions on the way who are the saints.
They are our big brothers, our big sisters, whom we can always count on: The saints support us and, when we make a mistake on the way, with their silent presence they do not fail to correct us; they are sincere friends, whom we can trust, because they desire our good. In their lives we find an example, in their prayers we receive help and friendship, and with them we are held in a bond of brotherly love.
Holiness is a path, it is a gift. Then we can ask ourselves: Do I remember that I have received as a gift the Holy Spirit, who calls me to holiness and helps me to get there? Do I thank the Holy Spirit for this, for the gift of holiness? Do I feel the saints close to me, talk to them, address them? Do I know the history of some of them? It does us good to know the lives of the saints and to be moved by their examples. And it does us so much good to turn to them in prayer.
May Mary, Queen of all Saints, make us feel the joy of the gift received and increase in us the desire for the eternal goal.