Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace,
and the life of the People of God itself”
We worship Christ as God’s Son; we love the martyrs as the
Lord’s disciples and imitators, and rightly so because of their
matchless devotion towards their king and master. May we
also be their companions and fellow disciples!
Communion with the dead.
“In full consciousness of this
communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church
in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian
religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead;
and ‘because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the
dead that they may be loosed from their sins’ she offers her suf-
frages for them.”
Our prayer for them is capable not only of
helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.
In the one family of God.
“For if we continue to love one
another and to join in praising the Most Holy Trinity—all of us who
are sons of God and form one family in Christ—we will be faithful
to the deepest vocation of the Church.”
The Church is a “communion of saints”: this expres-
sion refers first to the “holy things” (
), above all
the Eucharist, by which “the unity of believers, who
form one body in Christ, is both represented and
brought about” (
The term “communion of saints” refers also to the
communion of “holy persons” (
) in Christ who
“died for all,” so that what each one does or suffers in
and for Christ bears fruit for all.
“We believe in the communion of all the faithful of
Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who
are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all to-
gether forming one Church; and we believe that in this
communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is
always [attentive] to our prayers” (Paul VI,