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01
Sunday
01 November 2020

Holy words on All Saints’ Day

Beato Angelico, All the Saints

Here, in the valley, as we celebrate a very important holiday, we recall some of the sentences from the third encyclical, entitled All Brothers, which Pope Francis dedicated to brotherhood during the pandemic. By quoting a verse of Virgil that evokes the tears of things, this holy man invites us to overcome divisions and wars and look to Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Mahatma Gandhi and Charles de Foucauld. That is to say, look within to look far ahead.

‘The pain, uncertainty, and fear, and the realisation of our own limitations, brought on by the pandemic, have only made it more urgent that we rethink our styles of life, our relationships, the organisation of our societies and, above all, the meaning of our existence.’

‘If everything is connected, it is hard to imagine that this global disaster is unrelated to our way of approaching reality, our claim to be absolute masters of our own lives and of all that exists. I do not want to speak of divine retribution. Nor would it be sufficient to say that the harm we do to nature is itself the punishment for our offences. The world is itself crying out in rebellion. We are reminded of the well-known verse of the poet Virgil that evokes ‘the tears of things’.’