Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 23 November |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Miguel Pro
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope Francis warns: A society that does not take care of its grandparents has no future

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/04/17

In a new video, the Holy Father underlines the key role they play as beacons of wisdom and experience.

In the December Pope Video from the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, Francis asks for prayers that the elderly generation is not forgotten.

The Holy Father underlines the key role they play in society as beacons of wisdom and experience. In what is perhaps a counterintuitive reflection, he warns in the video that a society that forgets about its elderly members no longer has a future — because it has lost its memory.

“Let us be concerned for the elderly, so that sustained by families and Christian communities, they may apply their wisdom and experience to spreading the faith and forming the new generations,” Pope Francis says. “Grandmothers and grandfathers are our strength and our wisdom.”




Read more:
5 things my young kids are learning from their elderly grandma

Globally the elderly are one of the fastest growing populations. According to statistics from 2016, almost 8.5% of the population of the world was over age 65. Countries with the highest percentages of elderly people include Japan (27%), Italy (23%), Portugal and Finland (21%), and Bulgaria, Greece, Latvia, and Sweden (20%).

“When a society loses its memory, it is lost. It is torn from its roots,” the pope warns. “Grandparents are entrusted with a great responsibility: to transmit their life experience, their family history, the history of a community, of a people.”

The pope’s words are timely, especially during the Christmas season when so many of the elderly are confined to nursing homes and are unable to celebrate the holidays with their family. They are often forgotten and the holidays can be an especially difficult time for them.

Jesuit Father Frédéric Fornos, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement, noted how Pope Francis highlighted the importance of respect for the elderly in a homily at Santa Marta in November 2013. “The elderly give us history, they give us doctrine, they give us faith and they give us an inheritance. They are the ones that, like a good wine, have this strength within themselves to give us a noble inheritance,” the pope said on that occasion. “These words are an invitation,” Father Fornos reflected, “in this month of December, to approach our grandparents, the elderly, especially those around us, and receive from them our history, our roots, the wisdom of life.”


FAMILY CHILDREN

Read more:
Elderly couple’s 8-word reminder is a must-read for all parents

The intentions are entrusted each month to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and The Pope Video is produced by La Machi Communication for Good Causes with the support of the Society of Jesus, IndigoMusic, GettyImagesLatam and the collaboration of the Vatican Television Center. It also has Aleteia as a media partner. Since its launch in January of 2016, it has had more than 19 million views on its networks.

The Pope Video is made possible thanks to the support of many people. You can donate at this link




Read more:
Pope Condemns “Throw-Away Culture” That Sees Elderly as “Baggage”

Tags:
Pope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
UPSET
Theresa Civantos Barber
5 Quotes from the saints to help you deal wit...
PAPIEŻ FRANCISZEK
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Learn to pray with Mary with these 12 insight...
Giuseppe Moscati
Larry Peterson
A volcano, a plague, a war: This doctor-saint...
MONSTRANCE,GOLD,EUCHARIST
J-P Mauro
Cardinal calls Catholics to attend global Euc...
Luz Ivonne Ream
What’s the secret of this couple’s 64 years o...
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio's favorite prayer of petition
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.