Angelus Ognissanti Reflection of Pope Francis on Saints and Peace



On the occasion of the feast of All Saints, Pope Francis celebrates the traditional prayer of the Angelus. Looking out of the window of the Apostolic Palace, the Pontiff points out how, out of all commonality, the saints do not have a perfect life.

The reflection preceding the Angelus on the occasion of All Saints’ Day on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 is about peace. Pope Francis, addressing the faithful in a crowded St. Peter’s Square, recalls the experiences of saints and peacemakers and stresses that these examples of Christian living are not the protagonists of perfect lives.

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The Holy Father focuses on misleading clichés that are often linked to faith. It is to consider that people who work in and for peace have always had a perfect life, and that peace comes from above. But as the Pontiff points out, God teaches us that: “Peace is a seed”, which comes from below and germinates.

The reflection that precedes the Angelus of All Saints

On the occasion of the feast of All Saints, the reflection of Pope Francis preceding the Angelus focuses on peace and the fulfillment of it. As he also underlined at the end of the prayer, recalling as always the tormented Ukraine, the Holy Father stresses that peace cannot be achieved with wars, with power struggles, with conflicts. “Peace is not achieved by conquering or defeating someone. He is never violent, he is never armed”. The Pontiff, in fact, gives us the image of the seed, which, kept in the ground, only finds the space and the strength to germinate if it is watered with good water, if it is cared for with good : it is peace. Referring also to the Gospel of today’s Liturgy, which speaks of the Beatitudes, the Pope indicates the true meaning inscribed in the lives of the Saints celebrated on this Solemnity. “Saints are not people who in life have been perfect, always linear, precise, ‘starched'”.

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The Holy Father, in fact, defines these pages as “the identity card of the Saints”. We speak of a life against the tide, of a “revolutionary” life. And wanting to give a concrete example, the Pontiff reminds us that when Jesus speaks of peacemakers, he does not refer to people who obtain everything immediately, but to patient people who build. And this, as the Pope points out, is a very different concept from what is usually thought: “Be at peace, be at peace, have no problems but tranquility”. “We would like – continues the Holy Father – that peace rain down from above, on the contrary the Bible speaks of the ‘seed of peace’, because it sprouts from the soil of life, from the seed of our heart; it grows in silence, day by day, through works of justice and works of mercy, as the luminous witnesses we celebrate today show us”.

Become peacemakers

Then, faithful to this important presupposition, Pope Francis, in his reflection on the occasion of the feast of All Saints, explains the first step in becoming artisans of peace: “disarming the heart”. That is, to eliminate aggressive thoughts, hate speech and “concrete walls of indifference.” And between complaint and indifference we complain and it’s not peace, it’s war. The seed of peace requires demilitarization of the heart field. And for that, you have to open your heart to Jesus, to Confession and ask for his forgiveness and his peace. Because holiness springs from the Lord and, as the Pontiff specifies: “It is not our ability, it is His gift: it is grace”. And at this point, before the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis invites everyone to look within to find that seed in the heart that makes builders. And this in all the environments in which we live: in the family, at school, at work.

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Caring for those on the sidelines, offering forgiveness after an offence, healing injustices. Only thus can one become a peacemaker. And before the prayer, the Holy Father reveals: “However, a last question can be asked, valid for all the beatitudes: is it proper to live like this? Not a loser? It is Jesus who gives us the answer: peacemakers will be called children of God. In the world they seem out of place, because they do not yield to the logic of power and prevail In Heaven they will be closest to God, the most like Him, but in reality, even here, those who take away remain empty-handed. While he who loves everyone and does no harm to anyone wins: as the Psalm says: the man of peace will have descendants”.

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