28 July 2022
World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
The Youth and the Elderly: a relationship to cherish and make fruitful
Pope's words in Canada to commemorate the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
During his trip to Canada, Pope Francis devoted some of his reflections to grandparents and the elderly. This attention is driven by the fact that this week is the celebration of the Second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, with celebrations and initiatives in dioceses throughout the world.
After commemorating the Day during the Pope's flight on Sunday, July 24, again on Tuesday, July 26, the feast day of St. Joachim and St. Anne, grandparents of Jesus, Pope Francis dedicated a thought towards the indigenous grandmothers of Canada - the Kokums - who educate, love, and pass on the faith to the youth of their country. "Your hearts are springs from which the living water of faith flowed, and with it you quenched the thirst of your children and grandchildren" said the Pontiff on the shores of Lake St. Anne.
“Don’t abandon us!” is also the plea of many elderly people who "risk dying alone at home or in a nursing home". Of patients who, in place of affection, are administered death" the Pontiff continued in his address, but it is also "the muffled plea of young people who are more interrogated than listened to, who delegate their freedom to a cell phone, while in the same streets other young people wander about, lost, aimless, prey to addictions that only make them depressed and frustrated, unable to believe in themselves or to love themselves for who they are, or to appreciate the beauty of their lives."
The relationship with the origins and with the young to be cherished and made fruitful, therefore, continues to add new aspects enriching the pontifical magisterium on the elderly, which is already rich if we consider that the prayer intention for the month of July, the Message for the World Day that has just passed and, again, the cycle of catechesis dedicated to the theme of old age are all dedicated to them.
With regard to the pontifical magisterium on the theme of the elderly, Vittorio Scelzo, in charge of the pastoral care of the elderly at the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, commented to the microphones of Vatican News, "The Pope proposes something different, something affectionate, kind, that helps generativity - a word the Pope often uses - a love that helps us to create something new. In this there is a social and ecclesial value: the elderly for Francis are people who with their gentleness, with their weaknesses, their fragilities help others to grow. This magisterium and these words of Francis are new and take on special relevance when spoken where they were spoken, in Canada, and in a penitential context."