Pope Francis praises the “slow rhythm” of old age

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Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday continued his weekly catechesis on the meaning and value of old age, drawing on Scripture to reflect on the contribution the elderly can make to “a truly humane society.”  

The Pope also highlighted the importance of inter-generational dialogue. He explained that a harmonious relationship between young people and the elderly can help society amid “today's frenetic pace of life.”

The Pope also reminded the faithful that today is a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine.


Dear Brothers and Sisters: 

In our continuing catechesis on the meaning and value of old age, viewed in the light of God’s word, we now consider the contribution that the elderly can make to the development of a truly humane society, one in which every age group has something to offer. 

The elderly have much to teach us about the meaning of life; theirs is a wisdom, matured over time, that can help us to face the ever new questions and challenges raised by today’s rapidly evolving society. For this reason, I wished to set aside a special day in July to honor grandparents and the elderly. 

The covenant between young and old – indispensable for a healthy social life – can help us, amid today’s frenetic pace of life, to remember that, as men and women made in the image of God, we are called to a fuller vision of our life together, rediscovering God’s presence in our midst and caring for the needs of our brothers and sisters. 

May we recognize the importance of the elderly among us, and learn from them that the true rhythms of life are those, not of the stop-watch, but of the harmonious relationship between the generations.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from Norway, Ireland and the United States of America. May the Lenten journey we begin today, with prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine, bring us to the joy of Easter with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Upon each of you, and your families, I cordially invoke God’s abundant blessings.


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