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Prendersi cura degli anziani, una "questione d'onore", says Francesco

In Piazza San Pietro, the Pope said that "honoring the father and the mother" and "honoring the children, taking care of them", is "a question of dignity and honor", and so we must transmit it to the younger generations.

Omnes-April 25, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes
pope francisco audience

Testo originale del articolo in inglese qui
Translation: Franco Olearo

At the General Assembly this afternoon, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on the neighborhood and, with the help of the Word of God, as he said in front of thousands of faithful, he reflected on what it means to "honor one's father and mother".

"This commandment does not refer only to biological parents, but also to the respect and care that must be reserved to the generations that preceded us, that is to say to all the elderly people. Moreover, we believe that it is not only a matter of 'honoring' the elderly by sharing their material needs, but, above all, of 'honoring' them - of 'giving them their dignity - with love, with closeness and with respect," the Pope continued. Francis.

"Molte volte gli anziani sono purtroppo oggetto di scherno, incomprehensione e disprezzo. They become victims of violence, because they are considered as scarce material. For this reason it is important to convey to the younger generations that love for life must always be manifested, in all its phases, from conception to its natural end, and includes in a special way 'honoring the life seen' of our ancestors and honoring it with tenacity and respect," added the pope.

"Questo amore speciale destinato agli anziani che si fa strada sotto forma di onore - cioè di tenerezza e insieme di rispetto - è suggellato dal comandamento di Dio", ha sottolineato il Romano Pontefice. "Onore il padre e la madre' è un impegno solenne, il primo della 'seconda tavola' dei dieci comandamenti".

"It is not only about one's own father and mother," the Holy Father said. "It is about the generation and the generations that precede them, whose addition can also be slow and prolonged, creating a time and a space for a lasting coexistence with the other ages of life. In other words, it is a matter of life's old age".

"Riceviamo amore, restituiamo amore."

With regard to the concept of "love", the Pope wanted to emphasize that "love is a good word to describe this area of restoring the love that surrounds childhood. In other words, we have received love from the parents, from the children and now we return this love to them, to the children, to the grandchildren. Today we have discovered the term 'dignity', to indicate the value of respect and care for the life of everyone. Dignity, here, is basically equivalent to honor: to honor one's father and mother, to honor one's children and to recognize the dignity they have", he underlined.

To Buenos Aires

In his speech, Francis recalled his visits to the neighbors and the elderly in the Argentine capital. "Vi dirò una cosa personalale: mi piaceva visitare le residenze per anziani a Buenos Aires. I walk often and visit them all, one by one. I remember that once I asked a woman: 'How many children do you have?' - 'I have four' - she answered me - 'all of them married with children, my children'. E ha iniziato a parlarmi della famiglia. "E vengono?" -'Sì, vengono sempre!' Quando ho lasciato la stanza, l'infermiera, che aveva sentito, mi ha detto: 'Padre, ha detto una bugia per coprire i tuoi figli. Sono sei mesi che non viene nessuno!'

'Questo è scartare gli anziani, è pensare che gli anziani siano materiale di risulta. Please, it is a serious sin. This is the first great commandment, and the only one that indicates you your prize: 'Remember your father and your mother and you will have a long life on this earth', underlined the Pontefice.

"The commandment to honor the children gives us a blessing, which manifests itself with these words: "Avrai una lunga vita". Please, take care of your children. And if I also forgive the head, please take care of them because they are the presence of history, the presence of my family, and I am here thanks to them. We can all say it: it is thanks to you, son and daughter, that I am alive. Please, do not leave me alone".

"Una autentica rivoluzione culturale".

"And this, of caring for the elderly, is not a question of cosmetics or plastic surgery, no. Rather, it is a question of honor, which must transform the education of young people regarding life and its phases. Rather, it is a matter of honor, which must transform the education of young people regarding life and its phases."

"The love for humanity that is common to all of us, and includes the 'love of the visible life', is not just a question of the elderly," the Pope concluded. "It is rather an ambition that will enlighten young people who have the best qualities. May the wisdom of the Spirit of God grant us to grasp with the necessary energy the horizon of this authentic cultural revolution".

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