Pope Paul VI Hall | Saturday, October 15, 2016
Excerpt: The Church looks to the elderly with affection, recognition and great esteem. They are an essential part of the Christian community and of society and, in particular, represent the roots and memory of the people. Yours is an important presence, because your experience is a valuable treasure, indispensable for looking to the future with hope and responsibility. Your maturity and wisdom, accumulated over the years, can help the youngest, supporting them in their journey of growth and openness to the future, in the search for their path. Indeed, the elderly show that, even in the most difficult times, one must never lose faith in God and in a better future. They are like trees that continue to bear fruit even under the weight of the years. […]
In a world such as ours today, in which often the myth of force and appearance prevails, you have the mission of bearing witness to the values that truly count, and which remain for ever, as they are inscribed in the heart of every human being and guaranteed by the word of God. Precisely as people of advanced years, you – or rather we, as I too form part of this group – are called upon to work for the development of a culture of life, showing that every season of existence is a gift from God, and has its beauty and its importance, even if marked by frailty.