Catechism of the Catholic Church

250 Part One Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself” 498 : 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! 499 958 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.” 500 Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective. 959 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.” 501 IN BRIEF 960 The Church is a “communion of saints”: this expres- sion refers first to the “holy things” ( sancta ), above all the Eucharist, by which “the unity of believers, who form one body in Christ, is both represented and brought about” ( LG 3). 961 The term “communion of saints” refers also to the communion of “holy persons” ( sancti ) in Christ who “died for all,” so that what each one does or suffers in and for Christ bears fruit for all. 962 “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, CPG § 30). 498 LG 50; cf. Eph 4:1-6. 499 Martyrium Polycarpi, 17: Apostolic Fathers II/3, 396. 500 LG 50; cf. 2 Macc 12:45. 501 LG 51; cf. Heb 3:6. 1371 1032, 1689 1027