Catholic Culture Dedication
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The elderly have a special spiritual mission, Pope tells Wednesday audience

March 11, 2015

Old age “contains a grace and a mission, a true vocation,” Pope Francis told his weekly public audience on March 11.

The Pope devoted his audience to grandparents, noting that he identified with grandparents because he is of the same age. He observed that as more people live into old age, it is necessary to think about their role:

Previously, in fact, it was not normal to have so much free time; today far more so. And even Christian spirituality has been taken a little by surprise, and has had to delineate a spirituality for the elderly.

As models, Pope Francis pointed to Simeon and Anna, who recognized the infant Jesus when he was brought into the Temple. They had the special grace to recognize the Messiah, he said, and to sing his praises. “Someone has to sing the signs of God” for today’s people as well, he said.

Older people should not rest on their laurels, but strive to become “poets of prayer,” the Pope said. He placed special emphasis on the importance of grandparents as teachers for children. “The words of the elderly hold something special for the young,” he said. “And they know this.”

“How I would like to see a Church that challenges the throwaway culture with the superabundant joy of a new embrace between the young and the elderly!” the Pope said as he concluded his address.

 


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