Back in January, Pope Francis established the first-ever World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, to be celebrated on July 25, while this week he delivered a new message on hope, loneliness and being “the memory” for younger generations.
“They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”
Back in late January 2021, Pope Francis established World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, and the first-ever holiday will be celebrated on July 25, Vatican News reported at the time.
“The Holy Spirit even today stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly,” Pope Francis said, calling the voice of the elderly “precious…because it sings the praises of God and preserves the roots of the peoples.”
“[The elderly] remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between the different generation, to pass on to the young the experience of life,” The Pope continued. “grandparents are often forgotten, and we forget this wealth of preserving roots and passing on” what the elderly have received.”
“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
“The Lord is eternal; he never, ever goes into retirement,” Pope Francis wrote in a message released this week. The message was entitled “I am with you always,” La-Croix reported
In the message, Francis offered hope to the elderly, focusing on the pain of loneliness from which many senior citizens suffer. He assured that, even at the darkest moments, the Lord continues to send angels to console our loneliness and to remind us that He is with us always.
Pope Francis spoke about the challenge of the pandemic, and especially the effect it had on the elderly.
“[Many] fell ill, others died or experienced the death of spouses or loved ones, while others found themselves isolated and alone for long periods,” Francis said. “The Lord is aware of all that we have been through in this time. He is close to those who felt isolated and alone, feelings that became more acute during the pandemic.”
“The Scriptures will also help us to understand what the Lord is asking of our lives today,” the Pope added. “For at every hour of the day, and in every season of life, he continues to send laborers into his vineyard.”
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—”
Pope Francis also stressed the value of memories possessed by the elderly when it came to things like war and the value of peace. He stressed the need to keep the memory of the sufferings of war alive, that sharing it with others is a true mission for every elderly person, Vatican News reported.
“The prayer of the elderly can protect the world, helping it perhaps more effectively than the frenetic activity of many others,” Francis said. “[Prayers of the elderly are] a very precious resource; a deep breath that the Church and the world urgently need.”
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”
“Who, if not the young, can take the dreams of the elderly and make them come true?” Francis said. “It is necessary that we continue to dream.”
“Our dreams of justice, of peace, of solidarity, can make it possible for our young people to have new visions; in this way, together, we can build the future,” the Pope continued. “Dreams are intertwined with memory.”