02 October 2019
Elderly

Celebrating Grandparents’ Day with Pope Francis

Revisiting the Holy Father’s words on the elderly

In some countries around the world, 2 October—the liturgical commemoration of the Guardian Angels—is celebrated as Grandparents’ Day. This is a good opportunity to listen once again to some of the many words Pope Francis has addressed to the elderly throughout the years of his pontificate.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

We must reawaken the collective sense of gratitude, of appreciation, of hospitality, which allows the elderly to feel that they are a living part of their community. The elderly are men and women, fathers and mothers, who have gone before us on our same path, in our same home, in our daily struggle for a dignified life. They are men and women from whom we have received much.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

“We can remind ambitious young people that a life without love is barren. We can tell fearful young people that anxiety about the future can be overcome. We can teach those young people who are too in love with themselves that there is greater joy in giving than in receiving. Grandfathers and grandmothers form the abiding “choir” in a great spiritual sanctuary, where the prayers of supplication and the songs of praise sustain the community which works and struggles in the field of life.”

15 October 2016 

You are an important presence, because your experience is a precious treasure, indispensable for looking to the future with hope and responsibility. Your maturity and wisdom, gathered over the years, can help the younger ones, supporting them on the way of growth and openness to the future, and in their search for their own path.

The elderly, in fact, testify that, even in the most difficult trials, one need not lose confidence in God and in a better future. They are like trees that continue to bear fruit; even under the weight of years, they make their original contribution towards a society rich in values and towards the affirmation of a culture of life.

 

December 2017

“A people that does not care for their grandparents and does not treat them well is a people that has no future!” This affirmation is at the heart of Pope Francis’ video message for the month of December, in which the Pope launches a strong appeal to “care for” and not to “forget” the elderly and the wisdom they guard, which represents, he says, the story of a family, of a community, and of a people.