“Our only way out is to beg God to put an end to violence and destruction wrought by war, especially as the world seems to be heading towards another massive conflict,” Pope Francis said on All Souls’ Day.
“Today the world is in conflict and is preparing to go more heavily into war. No more, Lord! No more! With war, you lose everything!” the Pope said on November 2.
Pope Francis gave a short homily at Mass for All Souls’ Day at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Nettuno, an Italian cemetery for American soldiers killed in World War II.
Located about 20 miles south of Albano Laziale and dedicated in 1956, the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery covers 77 acres. There are 7,860 servicemen buried there and in a chapel on the grounds are the names of 3,095 servicemen who went missing in action.
Most of those who are buried in the Nettuno cemetery died in the liberation of Sicily, the landings at Salerno and Anzio, and in air and naval support of these operations in 1943 and 1944.
In recent tradition, popes have said an All Souls’ Day Mass at Rome’s Campo Verano cemetery, founded in the 19th century. Pope Francis did the same for the first three years of his pontificate. In 2016 he chose to say the Mass at Rome’s Prima Porta Cemetery.
He said, “If today is a day of hope, today is also a day of tears. Tears just like those of women who mourn the death of their husbands or children who have died in service,” he emphasized.
The Pope explained that pride is a vice that leads people to seek solutions through war and that humanity has not learnt a lesson nor does it seem to want to learn.