Marking today’s Feast of All Saints, Pope Benedict XVI said that striving after holiness is not the calling for a select few, but rather the task for all Christians and all men.
The Holy Father recalled that in the early days of Christianity "Church members were called 'saints'," and that Christians are made holy by Baptism because “it binds him to Jesus and His Paschal mystery, but at the same time he must also come to become conformed to Him more closely."
"It was sometimes thought said the Pope- that sanctity is a privilege reserved for a select few. In fact, becoming holy is the task of every Christian, every man!"
Referring to St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians the pontiff said, “[a]ll human beings are therefore called to holiness, which is ultimately to live as children of God…All human beings are children of God, and all must become what we are by way of demanding freedom [from sin].”
Pope Benedict noted that "in her wisdom, the Church has placed in close succession the feast of All Saints and the Commemoration of all the faithful departed (All Souls Day). “Our prayer of praise to God and veneration of the saints is joined with the prayers of the many who have gone before us in the passing from this world to life eternal,” the Pope said.
Finally, the Pope recalled that "at the center of the assembly of saints, the Virgin Mary shines, 'humble and higher than every creature'. Placing our hand in hers, we are encouraged to walk more strongly on the path of holiness.”