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Knowing how to cry opens one to tenderness, pope says at cemetery Mass


  • Pope Francis uses incense as he venerates a statue of Mary during Mass in Verano cemetery in Rome Nov. 1, the feast of All Saints. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis celebrates the Eucharist during Mass in Verano cemetery in Rome Nov. 1, the feast of All Saints. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • The faithful attend Pope Francis' celebration of Mass in Verano cemetery in Rome Nov. 1, the feast of All Saints. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis celebrates the Eucharist during Mass in Verano cemetery in Rome Nov. 1, the feast of All Saints. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis celebrates the Eucharist during Mass in Verano cemetery in Rome Nov. 1, the feast of All Saints. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Sun backlights a decorative angel on a tombstone as Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Verano cemetery in Rome Nov. 1, the feast of All Saints. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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ROME (CNS) -- While the Beatitudes can seem counterintuitive, Jesus knew that the poor in spirit, those who mourn or are persecuted and those who work for peace and justice are those who are open to experiencing God's love and mercy, Pope Francis said.

Celebrating an evening Mass Nov. 1, All Saints Day, amid the tombs of Rome's Verano cemetery, Pope Francis assured people that the saints would intercede for them and for their beloved departed.

Hundreds of people went to the cemetery to prepare their loved ones' graves for the Nov. 2 feast of All Souls. As Pope Francis processed to the temporary altar, he also stopped to lay a white rose on a grave.

The day's Gospel reading was St. Matthew's version of the Beatitudes, which the pope said was the path Jesus taught as the road to heaven.

"It's a journey difficult to understand because it goes against the tide, but the Lord tells us that whoever takes this path is happy, (or) sooner or later will become happy," the pope said.

Those who are "poor in spirit," the pope said, are happy because heaven is their only treasure; heaven awaits them.

Those who mourn are blessed because without ever having experienced "sadness, anguish, pain, one will never know the power of consolation," the pope said. But those who know how to weep for themselves and for others will experience the caress of "the tender hand of God."

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