In his message on All Saints' Day, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of "next-door saints" who are not officially canonized by the church but are an example to all.
Speaking to a crowd in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, he said, “We experience in a particularly vivid way the reality of the communion of saints, our extended family, made up of all members of the Church, both those who are still pilgrims on earth, and those—immensely more—who have already departed for heaven.” He said canonized saints as well as "next-door saints" who live ordinary lives are models for the faithful. He said that the latter are saints nonetheless and that they encourage all to find God in all aspects of life.
The pope said, “We, too, have met many of these saints. Perhaps we had one in our family or among our friends and acquaintances. We must be grateful to them, and above all we must be grateful to God who has given them to us, and who put them into our lives as living and contagious examples of a way of living and of dying in fidelity to the Lord Jesus and his Gospel.”
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