APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION OF POPE FRANCIS – AMORIS LAETITIA

Excerpt from sections 191-193, “The elderly”

The elderly help us to appreciate “the continuity of the generations”, by their “charism of bridging the gap”. Very often it is grandparents who ensure that the most important values are passed down to their grandchildren, and “many people can testify that they owe their initiation into the Christian life to their grandparents”. Their words, their affection or simply their presence help children to realize that history did not begin with them, that they are now part of an age old pilgrimage and that they need to respect all that came before them.

ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS – ASS’N OF ELDERLY

Pope Paul VI Hall | Saturday, October 15, 2016

Excerpt: The Church looks to the elderly with affection, recognition and great esteem. They are an essential part of the Christian community and of society and, in particular, represent the roots and memory of the people. Yours is an important presence, because your experience is a valuable treasure, indispensable for looking to the future with hope and responsibility. Your maturity and wisdom, accumulated over the years, can help the youngest, supporting them in their journey of growth and openness to the future, in the search for their path. Indeed, the elderly show that, even in the most difficult times, one must never lose faith in God and in a better future. They are like trees that continue to bear fruit even under the weight of the years. […]

In a world such as ours today, in which often the myth of force and appearance prevails, you have the mission of bearing witness to the values that truly count, and which remain for ever, as they are inscribed in the heart of every human being and guaranteed by the word of God. Precisely as people of advanced years, you – or rather we, as I too form part of this group – are called upon to work for the development of a culture of life, showing that every season of existence is a gift from God, and has its beauty and its importance, even if marked by frailty.

ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS – PASTORAL CONGRESS

Basilica of St. John Lateran | Thursday, June 16, 2016

Excerpt: “The old men shall have prophetic dreams” (cf. Joel 2:28). This was a prophecy that Joel made for the time of the Spirit. The old men shall have dreams and the young men shall see visions. With this third image I should like to underscore the importance that the Synod Fathers gave to the value of witness as the place in which one can find the dream of God and the life of men. In this prophecy we contemplate a binding reality: in the dreams of our elders often lies the possibility that our young people may have new visions, may once again have a future. […]

This absence of examples, of witnesses, this lack of grandparents, of fathers able to tell their dreams, does not allow the younger generations to “see visions”. And they are at a standstill. It does not allow them to make plans, since the future creates insecurity, doubt, fear. Only the witness of our parents, seeing that it has been possible to fight for something that was worthwhile, will help them to lift their gaze. How can we expect young people to take up the challenge of family, of marriage as a gift, if they continually hear us say that it is a burden? If we want “visions”, let our grandparents share and tell us their dreams, so that we can have the prophecies for the future.

ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS – MEETING WITH THE ELDERLY

Saint Peter’s Square | Sunday, 28 September 2014

Excerpt:  …Old age is a time of grace, in which the Lord renews his call to us: he calls us to safeguard and transmit the faith, he calls us to pray, especially to intercede; he calls us to be close to those in need…. The elderly, grandparents have the ability to understand the most difficult of situations: a great ability! And when they pray for these situations, their prayer is strong; it is powerful!

ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS – GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter’s Square | Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Excerpt: We are able to thank the Lord for the benefits received, and fill the emptiness of ingratitude that surrounds us. We are able to intercede for the expectations of younger generations and give dignity to the memory and sacrifices of past generations. We are able to remind ambitious young people that a life without love is a barren life. We are able say to young people who are afraid that anxiety about the future can be overcome. We are able to teach the young who are overly self-absorbed that there is more joy in giving than in receiving. Grandfathers and grandmothers form the enduring “chorus” of a great spiritual sanctuary, where prayers of supplication and songs of praise sustain the community which toils and struggles in the field of life.

ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS – GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter’s Square | Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Excerpt: Our elders are men and women, fathers and mothers, who came before us on our own road, in our own house, in our daily battle for a worthy life. They are men and women from whom we have received so much. The elder is not an alien. We are that elder: in the near or far future, but inevitably, even if we don’t think it. And if we don’t learn how to treat the elder better, that is how we will be treated.

Pope Benedict XVI

ADDRESS OF POPE BENEDICT XVI – VISIT TO THE COMMUNITY OF SANT’EGIDIO’S HOME FOR THE ELDERLY “VIVA GLI ANZIANI”

Rome | Monday, 12 November 2012

Excerpt: This morning, addressing all the elderly in spirit, although I am aware of the difficulties that our age entails I would like to tell you with deep conviction: it is beautiful to be old! At every phase of life it is necessary to be able to discover the presence and blessing of the Lord and the riches they bring. We must never let ourselves be imprisoned by sorrow! We have received the gift of longevity. Living is beautiful even at our age, despite some “aches and pains” and a few limitations. In our faces may there always be the joy of feeling loved by God and not sadness.