Pilgrims Visit Baptismal Site of Jesus

( [email protected] ) Nov 03, 2003 02:26 PM EST

VATICAN CITY – Pope John Paul II, after skipping an evening prayer ceremony to honor deceased popes on Saturday, urged the faithful to pray for the dead and consider death as merely a step towards eternal life, Sunday, November 02.

"This invites the faithful to look at the mystery of death not as the last word of human fate, but as a step toward eternal life," John Paul said to the crowd gathered at St. Peter’s Square for his Sunday appearance.

John Paul was marking All Soul's Day, a church holiday also known as the Day of the Dead, in which Catholics are called on to pray by the graves of loved ones.