Also urges the elderly to be "burning coals of the Church"
As part of his pastoral visits, the Bishop of Rome met the parishioners of St. Gelasius I Church, in the northeast of Rome on February 25. Speaking to different parish groups, Pope Francis defended life as a “gift of God.”
Before celebrating Mass, the pope spoke with different groups: children enrolled in catechism, two migrants from Gambia, and also several of the elderly and sick of the parish.
The Bishop of Rome explained that life must be considered as the “main” good of each and every person, especially because “it can not be created in a laboratory.” Medicine’s important role, he said, is that of helping to “preserve life.”
Life is “our future,” Pope Francis emphasized. It is the “duty of all” to help make it grow. Because life is always a gift from God, it must be cared for and not abandoned, he said. Without respect for life and concern for the care that must be provided, civilization disappears little by little.
The elderly, “burning coals of the Church”
In addition, the pontiff encouraged the elderly to become the “burning coals of the Church” and the world. These coals, he said, help “keep the fire” of the faith burning. Young people “need your experience,” continued the pope, “this fire hidden in your coals.”
To the youngest members of the assembly, Peter’s Successor gave a short catechism lesson through short, simple questions. “What should a Christian do?” asked the head of the Catholic Church. “Go forward with courage” with Jesus as a guide, he said.