Pope Francis marked All Souls' Day November 2nd, by visiting the Rome War Cemetery, the burial place of members of the military forces of the Commonwealth, and celebrating Mass there. Praying for the many lives lost during wartime, he appealed for an end to today's conflicts.
The Pope carried a bouquet of large white roses and had an aide place it at the grave of Guardsman William Perkins (2735920), a member of 3rd Battalion Welsh Guards who died at the age of 28 on 13th June 1944. The pope then continued along the green lawn, hands clasped briefly in prayer.
"So many innocent dead, so many soldiers who leave their lives there," the pope said later in his homily at Mass celebrated Nov. 2 at the Rome War Cemetery, the burial place of members of the military forces of the Commonwealth.
No one wins with war; each life lost represents defeat, the pope says.
Rome War Cemetery. On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance, but the advance was checked for some months at the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line. Operations in January 1944 landed troops behind the German lines at Anzio, but a breakthrough was not achieved until 18 May when, after fierce fighting, Cassino finally fell to the Allies. Rome was taken on 3 June as the German withdrawal continued. The cemetery was started shortly afterwards and was used mainly for burials from the occupying garrison, but a few graves were brought in from the surrounding country, and some soldiers and airmen who died as prisoners of war in Rome are also buried there. Rome War Cemetery contains 426 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.