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Pope Francis to meet elderly people and grandparents

July 1, 2014

Sunday, September 28, has been chosen to be a day dedicated to elderly people and grandparents from around the world. The initiative, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family, will take place in St. Peter's Square. Pope Francis will be present to meet participants.

“The Blessing of a Long Life” is the title of the event which will kick off in the morning with a Mass celebrated by the Pope.

Presenting the initiative, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family explained that “the day is based on the assumption that old age is not a shipwreck but a vocation. Thanks to God the years of life have accumulated - society allows this - but, on the other hand, on this issue, an adequate reflection has not yet been developed. There is none, neither in politics nor economics, nor in culture” he said.

Archbishop Paglia said that he hopes that the event will draw public attention to the importance of old age: “It should be stressed that the elderly are not only the object of attention or care, but that they themselves also have a new perspective in life. That's the point. Therefore, their advanced age needs to be rethought, and their commitment to the world and in the Church must be reconsidered” he said.

 And pointing out that the Church too must enhance its attention towards the elderly he said that besides the traditional tasks of transmitting the faith and helping parents, grandparents and elderly people must be engaged in other equally important areas such as prayer and evangelization.

Archbishop Paglia also pointed out that elder people have much to give as regards culture and experience, and that civil society is called to relate to old age with particular care and to conceive the weakening of life not as a final tragedy but rather as a testimony of hope in the hereafter.

Source: Vatican News

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