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Marking New Event, Pope Says the Generations Must Connect

Francis draws applause in celebrating first World Day for Grandparents and Elderly
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 25, 2021 1:00 PM CDT
Marking New Event, Pope Says the Generations Must Connect
Pope Francis looks from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square to celebrate the Angelus prayer on Sunday at the Vatican.   (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

(Newser) – Pope Francis celebrated the Roman Catholic Church's first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly on Sunday. Francis solicited a round of applause from the faithful in St. Peter's Square and urged people everywhere to reach out to older generations, the AP reports. Francis was supposed to have led a celebration Mass for grandparents in St. Peter's Cathedral earlier in the day but left the duty to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, three weeks after the pontiff emerged from the hospital after major intestinal surgery. "Grandparents and grandchildren, the elderly and youth together showed one of the beautiful sides of the Church, and showed the alliance between the generations," Francis said in off-the-cuff remarks from a window overlooking St. Peter's Square.

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"To celebrate this day, I invite celebration in every community with visits to grandparents and elderly, those who are most alone, to bring them my message, inspired by Jesus: 'I am with you every day,'" the pope said. He said just as the elderly need young people, young people need the elderly, "especially in this throwaway culture," adding that "the grandparents have the sap of history, that rises and gives strength for the tree to grow." If young people and elderly don't meet and talk, "history does not go on, life does not go on. We need to resume this: It is a challenge for our culture. Grandparents have the right to dream while watching young people, and young people have the right to prophecy by taking sap from grandparents,'' he said.

(Read more Pope Francis stories.)

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