"On the one hand, in fact, the Church, a pilgrim in history, rejoices for the intercession of the Saints and the Blessed that sustains Her in the mission of announcing the Gospel," he said.
"On the other, She, like Jesus, shares in the tears of those who suffer the departing of a loved one, and like Him and thanks to Him, resounds the thanks to the Father who has freed us from the dominion of sin and death."
Recalling those who today will visit the graves of their loved ones, the Pope called on the faithful to remember those "who no one remembers." Among them, he continued, are the victims of war, violence and in particular the "little ones in the world crushed by hunger and poverty."
"We remember the unnamed people who rest in common graves. We remember our brothers and sisters killed for being Christians; and those who sacrificed their lives to serve others. We especially entrust to the Lord those who have left us in the course of this year," he said.
Citing the Second Vatican Council's document, Lumen Gentium, the Pope exhorted those present to offer the Eucharistic celebration for deceased souls. Remembering the dead, he said, "is rooted in the certainty that death is not the final word on the human fate."
The Holy Father then recited a prayer for the dead composed by Passionist Father Antonio Rungi. "May no one fear the encounter with You at the end of their earthly pilgrimage, in the hope of being welcomed within the embrace of your infinite mercy. May sister death find us in prayerful vigilance, and full of all the good we have done during our existence, be it long or short," he prayed.
Concluding his address, Pope Francis invoked the Virgin Mary to help in understanding the value of praying for the deceased. "May She sustain us in our daily pilgrimage on this earth and help us to not lose sight of the final goal of life which is Paradise,"