Pope urges youth to reach out to elderly

Pope Francis has called on young people to reach out to the elderly by video-chatting with them and sending them hugs.

In his message after Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on July 26, the pontiff invited young people to reach out to those “who are most alone in their homes or retirement residences.”

“I would like to invite the young to perform a gesture of tenderness towards the elderly, especially the loneliest, in their homes and residences, those who have not seen their loved ones for many months,” Pope Francis said.

“Each elderly person is your grandparent,” said the pontiff as urged the youth not to leave the elderly alone. “Use the fantasy of love,” he said.

“Do not leave them by themselves. Use the inventiveness of love, make telephone calls, video calls, send messages, listen to them and, where possible … go to visit them too,” said the pontiff.

He reminded young people that the elderly are their “roots,” adding that “an uprooted tree does not grow or bear flowers or fruit.”

“Send them a hug. They are your roots. An uprooted tree cannot grow, it does not blossom or bear fruit. This is why the bond and connection with your roots is important.”

Pope Francis

Quoting an Argentinian poet, the pontiff said that flowers come from what is underground.

“The blossom of a tree comes from what it has underground,” quoted the pontiff. “Therefore I invite you to give a big round of applause for our grandparents,” he said

Pope Francis made the call as the Catholic Church observed the memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the “grandparents” of Jesus.

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