Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans Day: Ministering to those who died in battle

"Those who fall in battle deserve to be gratefully remembered. Innocent
citizens who were killed are to be counted among the heroes who faced the
enemy without weapons. In life they were ready to carry on with quiet bravery,
doing the ordinary things necessary for life...

"Now some are buried under the pile of rubble of shattered cities; the
remains of others are scattered about deserted prison camps. Many of them died
in the state of grace, it is true, but suddenly and without benefit of the
Last Sacraments, and with a debt upon their souls.

"We could not minister to them and ease their pain while they were dying,
but through our prayers we can help now, and obtain for them a speedier
release from their sufferings in Purgatory."

Pope Pius XII