VATICAN CITY, 1 NOV 2008 (VIS) - In remarks he made to pilgrims before praying the Angelus on today's Solemnity of All Saints, Benedict XVI invited them to consider "the panorama of saintliness. The world", he said, "appears to us as a 'garden', where the Spirit of God, with marvellous ingenuity, created a multitude of male and female saints, from every age and social condition, of every language, people and culture.
"Each is different from the others in the uniqueness of his or her own human personality and spiritual charism. All, however, are marked by the 'seal' of Jesus, the imprint of His love".
The Pope explained how the Solemnity of All Saints "came into being during the course of the first Christian millennium as a collective celebration of the martyrs. ... We can, in fact, interpret such martyrdom in a broader sense, that of unreserved love for Christ, a love expressed in the total gift of self to God and to one's brothers and sisters. This spiritual goal, to which all the baptised are called, is achieved by following the path of the evangelical beatitudes. ... This is the same path traced by Jesus and that the saints strove to follow, always aware of their human limits. In their earthly existence, in fact, they were poor in spirit, pained by their sins, mild, starved of and thirsting for justice, merciful, pure of heart, peacemakers, persecuted for righteousness' sake. And God himself gave them a share in His own happiness. ... Now they are consoled. ... They see the God Whose children they are. In a word: 'theirs is the Kingdom of heaven'.
"On this day", the Holy Father concluded, "We feel our hearts aflame with the desire for everlasting union with the family of saints, of which we already have the grace to be a part. ... May this beautiful aspiration burn in all Christians and help them to overcome all difficulties, fears and tribulations".
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