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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis asks the elderly to help rebuild society after the pandemic

Pope Francis has sent this video message to the grandparents and elderly persons of the world. 

"I'd like to share some words with you as Bishop of Rome and as an elderly person just like you."
He is asking them to play a part in rebuilding the world after the pandemic, and to rediscover their vocation later in life. 

“Speaking from experience, I received the call to become the Bishop of Rome when I reached the so-called age of retirement. I already thought that I wouldn't be able to do much more.

In his special message, the Pope challenges the elderly to realize their calling to preserve our roots, share the faith with the youth, and care for young children.

Cardinal Kevin Farrell echoed the Pope's message at the Vatican.

President, Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life
"The elderly are a tremendous resource to get us out of the crisis in which we find ourselves, to come out better and not worse."

The Vatican also invited an 88-year-old woman to present the Pope's message. She volunteers by keeping in touch with other elderly people so that they do not feel alone.

"Helping elderly people who are alone, keeping them company, even if it's only a phone call, makes me feel that I am useful at my age. Sometimes we get carried away by melancholy, resentment and sadness."
"We too feel the need to contribute, to not let this crisis go to waste, to lead humanity to a better future, with less selfishness and confrontation."

The message is a precursor for the upcoming World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly announced by Pope Francis, and which will take place on July 25. 

On that day, the Pope will celebrate a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica with grandparents.

In addition, he has granted special indulgences to those who show concrete gesture of affection for their own grandparents or an elderly person around that date.