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Pope begins general audience series on old age

February 23, 2022

Having concluded a series of 12 general audiences on St. Joseph, Pope Francis spoke on February 23 about old age.

“Today begins a new series of weekly catecheses on the meaning and value of old age, viewed in the light of God’s word,” Pope Francis said to pilgrims assembled in Paul VI Audience Hall, according to the official Vatican summary of his remarks. “Increased longevity has led to growing numbers of elderly persons in our midst, and thus a need to reflect anew on the relationship between the generations.”

“Our throwaway society often exalts youthfulness and even dismisses the elderly as an unwanted burden,” he continued. “It is important, then, to consider and value the spiritual fruitfulness that this time of life can bring to the elderly themselves, as well as the gifts that they can offer to the communities of which they are an integral part.”

Pope Francis added:

In this sense, we need to rediscover the “covenant” that unites the generations in looking to the future of our human family. The prophet Joel speaks of a time when “the elderly shall dream dreams and the young see visions” (cf. Joel 2:28). In these days of pandemic, we have come to see once more how important it is to offer our young people wise guidance, hope and enthusiasm as they look to the future. As we begin these reflections, let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand and appreciate the great contribution that the elderly can make to a just and fraternal society.

 


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