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Pope Francis: Elderly Are Key to Health of Free Society

AP

Vatican Radio - published on 09/28/14 - updated on 06/08/17

And so we return to this “icon” full of joy and hope, full of faith and charity.  We can imagine that the Virgin Mary, visiting the home of Elizabeth, would have heard her and her husband Zechariah praying in the words of today’s responsorial psalm: “You, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth…  Do not cast me off in the time of old age, do not forsake me when my strength is spent…  Even to old age and grey hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come”  (Ps 71:5,9,18).  The young Mary listened, and she kept all these things in her heart.  The wisdom of Elizabeth and Zechariah enriched her young spirit.  They were no experts in parenthood; for them too it was the first pregnancy.  But they were experts in faith, experts in God, experts in the hope that comes from him: and this is what the world needs in every age.  Mary was able to listen to those elderly and amazed parents; she treasured their wisdom, and it proved precious for her in her journey as a woman, as a wife and as a mother.

The Virgin Mary likewise shows us the way: the way of encounter between the young and the elderly.  The future of a people necessarily supposes this encounter: the young give the strength which enable a people to move forward, while the elderly consolidate this strength by their memory and their traditional wisdom.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Pope Benedict XVIPope Francis

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