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Pope remembers cardinals, bishops who died in the past year

November 04, 2013 - Pope Francis remembered the world’s cardinals and bishops who passed away during the past year, at a memorial Mass on Monday, praying the Lord to grant them the heavenly reward promised to the good and faithful servants. Nine cardinals died in 2013, four of them under Pope Benedict XVI and five under Pope Francis. Besides, 139 archbishops and bishops have died since October 2012. In his homily at the traditional Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope underscored the ‘love of God as the most profound and invincible motive for Christian trust and hope,” despite the forces that can threaten the path of faith, as enumerated by St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans. “This reality of faithful love that God has for each one of us helps us to face with serenity and strength our daily journey which at times is quick and at times slow and tiring. It is only man’s sin that can interrupt this bond, but even then, the Pope assured, God always seeks and chases after him to restore the union that lasts even after death – indeed, a union that reaches its climax in the final encounter with the Father. This certainty, the Pope said, gives a new and full meaning to the earthly life and opens us to hope in life after death. Describing the deceased cardinals and bishops as zealous pastors who have dedicated their life to the service of God and brothers, the Pope said, they are in the hands of God, all of them well taken care of and uncorrupted by death. All of their days interwoven with joys and sufferings, with hopes and labours, with fidelity to the Gospel and the passion for the spiritual and material salvation of the flock entrusted to them – all are in the hands of God. Even our sins are in God's hands, those hands wounded with love are merciful, the Pope said, adding Jesus wanted to preserve the wounds in his hands to make us feel his mercy. This reality, full of hope, is the promise of the final resurrection, of eternal life, to which the ‘righteous ones’ are destined – those who welcome the Word of God and are docile to His Spirit. The Pope entrusted the deceased cardinals and bishops to the mercy of God remembering them as men dedicated to their vocation and their service to the Church who have loved like one loves a bride. (Source: Vatican)


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