Pope Francis: ‘The Alliance Between the Elderly and Children Will Save the Human Family’

Pope Francis held his 17th catechesis on old age. “Old age -the Pontiff explained- must bear witness to children that they are a blessing.”

Newsroom (17/08/2022 1:15 PM Gaudium Press) At today’s general audience, the Pope continued his catechesis on old age from a Christian perspective and made a prediction: “The alliance – and I am saying alliance – the alliance between the elderly and children will save the human family. may the young seek out the elderly to receive the wisdom of life from them.”

For children, the witness of the elderly “is credible,” because old age closes the horizon of our destiny. This is Francis’ 17th catechesis on old age.

The Pope commented on a vision of the prophet Daniel, referring to the risen Jesus, “who appears to the seer as Messiah,” puts his hand on his shoulder and reassures him:  “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (vv. 17-18). Thus disappears the last barrier of fear and anguish that a theophany has always provoked. The Living One reassures us, he gives us security. He too died, but now occupies the place destined for him –the First and the Last place.”

In the summary of his catechesis, the Pope made the connection between various symbols, such as those described in Daniel’s vision, “and the cycle of life.” 

“The vision communicates an impression of vigour and strength, of nobility, of beauty and charm. His clothing, his eyes, his voice, his feet – everything is glorious in this vision: it is all about a vision! His hair, however, is white – like wool, like snow – like the hair of an old man. The most widely-used biblical term indicating an old man is “zaqen”, which comes from “zaqan”, and means “beard”. Snow-white hair is an ancient symbol of a very long time, of time immemorial, of an eternal existence.

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Francis stressed that “Old age, on its way to a world in which the love that God has infused into Creation will finally radiate without obstacles, must accomplish this gesture performed by Simeon and Anna, before taking its leave.”

“Old age -the Pontiff continued- must bear witness to children that they are a blessing. This witness consists in their initiation – beautiful and difficult – into the mystery of our destination in life that no one can annihilate, not even death.”

With information Vatican News

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj



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