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Pope Francis gives advice on living a good retirement


During his General Audience, Pope Francis reflected on the biblical figure of Judith, a character from the Old Testament who, as a young woman, saved her people from the Assyrians before returning home to spend the rest of her long life with her family. 

The Pope says that Judith's story is an example for “all those older people who, in retirement, find themselves adjusting to a new chapter of life and new opportunities for personal growth.”

He goes on to add that elderly people today, like Judith, can “be teachers of the young in the fundamental social virtues of generosity and attentive concern for the needs of others,” and calls on the elderly to employ their talents wisely “for the good of our families and of society as a whole.”

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:

Dear brothers and sisters,

In our continuing catechesis on the meaning and value of old age in the light of God’s word, we now turn to the biblical heroine Judith. As a young woman, Judith had saved her people by slaying the Assyrian general Holofernes.

The Scriptures tell us that after this victory she returned home and spent the rest of her life with her family. Judith can serve as an example for all those older people who, in retirement, find themselves adjusting to a new chapter of life and new opportunities for personal growth.

Like Judith, who, at the end of her days, divided her inheritance and set her maidservant free, the elderly can be teachers of the young in the fundamental social virtues of generosity and attentive concern for the needs of others.

In old age too, God asks us to employ our talents wisely for the good of our families and of society as a whole. As was Judith, may we be remembered not only for the accomplishments of our youth, but also for the creativity and passion with which we continue to bear good fruit in every season of life.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father.