VATICAN CITY — On the Solemnity of All Saints, Pope Francis stressed that the saints are not "supermen" who are "born perfect," but, rather, are ordinary people who followed God "with all their heart."
"They are like us; they are like each of us: They are people who, before reaching the glory of heaven, lived a normal life, with joys and griefs, struggles and hopes," the Pope said before the noontime Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square Nov. 1.
Each saint changed his or her life, because, "when they recognized the love of God, they followed him with all their heart, without conditions and hypocrisies."
"They spent their lives in the service of others; they endured suffering and adversity without hatred and responded to evil with good, spreading joy and peace," he said.
"Sanctity is beautiful! It is a beautiful way!" Pope Francis stressed. "The saints give us a message. They tell us: Be faithful to the Lord, because the Lord does not disappoint! He does not disappoint ever, and he is a good friend, always at our side."
The Pope emphasized that everyone can be a saint.
"To be a saint is not a privilege of a few. ... All of us in baptism have the inheritance of being able to become saints. Sanctity is a vocation for everyone."
"All of us are called to walk in the way of sanctity, and this way has a name, a face: the face of Jesus Christ."
Pope Francis said that All Saints' Day "reminds us that the goal of our existence is not death: It is paradise!"
"The saints, the friends of God, assure us that this promise does not disappoint," he added. "In their earthly existence, in fact, they had lived in profound communion with God. In the smallest and most despised faces of their brothers, they saw the face of God, and now they contemplate him, face-to-face, in his glorious beauty."
The saints show joy and love, he said.
"The saints are men and women who have joy in their hearts and spread it to others. Never hating, but serving the other, is the greatest need. To pray and to live in joy: This is the way of sanctity!"
The saints do not "place conditions" on God, the Pope explained. In addition, they "are not violent, but merciful, and they seek to be makers of reconciliation and peace."
"The saints never have hated," the Pope added. "Understand this well: Love is of God, but where does hatred come from? Hatred does not come from God, but from the devil!"
Pope Francis said the Kingdom of heaven is for those who trust in the love of God and do not put their security in material things. It is for those with humility and a "simple heart" who do not judge others. The Kingdom of heaven is for "those who suffer with the one who suffers and rejoice with the one who rejoices."
The saints are also a source of fortitude and hope, he noted.
"The saints encourage us with their witness not to have fear of going against the current or fear of being misunderstood and derided when we speak of the Lord and of the Gospel," the Pope said. "They show us with their lives that the one who remains faithful to God and to his words experiences now on this earth the comfort of his love and then experiences it a ‘hundredfold’ in eternity."
After the Angelus prayer, the Pope voiced special prayers for the victims of violence, especially Christians who have lost their lives because of persecution. He also prayed for those men, women and children who have died because of hunger and thirst.