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Creation devastated

· Pope Francis at Verano Cemetery calls for a stop to the mad race of destruction and exclusion of people and at the Angelus recalls that saints are the last for the world but first for God ·

When man takes possession of everything, believing he is God, he begins to work devastation and destruction. Celebrating Mass at the Verano Cemetery in Rome on Saturday afternoon, 1 November, Pope Francis denounced with concern “the selfishness of destroyers” who prey on creation and sow ruins of death everywhere. The Pontiff spoke of a real “industry of destruction” which nourishes war all over the world and spreads “a throw-away culture”, especially regarding children, the elderly and the unemployed youth.

In his homily, Pope Francis used the image of the many poor people forced to abandoned their land and live without a home, medicine and food. He said, “it seems that these people, these children who are hungry, sick, do not seem to count, it’s as if they were of a different species, as if they were not even human”. He also remembered those persecuted for their faith and those who face “great tribulation”. Saints are often “unknown”, he said, simple men and women who are at times the “last” for the world and “the 'first' for God”. The Bishop of Rome also spoke of them that morning at the Angelus in St Peter's Square when he called all faithful to pray so that Jerusalem “city so dear to Jews, Christians and Muslims” become a “sign and prelude of the peace which God desires for the whole human family”.

The Pope remembered the victims of war and violence including the “'little ones' of the world, crushed by hunger and poverty”, the brothers and sisters “killed because they are Christians” and “those who sacrificed their lives to serve others” at the Marian prayer on the Solemnity of All Souls.

In suffrage for the cardinals, archbishops and bishops who died over the last year the Pontiff presided at a Mass on Monday morning in the Vatican Basilica.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 21, 2018

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