“Let us pray for the elderly, that they may become teachers of tenderness so that their experience and wisdom may help young people to look towards the future with hope and responsibility”. This is the prayer intention for the month of July, entrusted to the Worldwide Prayer Network, and released on video on Thursday, 30 June.
The video begins with a domestic scene in a kitchen, where two elderly people are recycling stale bread to make a dessert. The elderly man helps the elderly woman and suggests a recipe that will turn the bread into a tasty pudding.
“We elderly people often have a special sensitivity for care, for reflection, and affection. We are, or we can become, teachers of tenderness. And indeed we can”, the Pope says. “In this world accustomed to war, we need a true revolution of tenderness”, he continues, highlighting the elderly’s “great responsibility towards new generations”.
The tenderness that the Holy Father often refers to in his catecheses on Wednesdays is precisely dedicated to the elderly. It is an opportunity to underscore their role in the family nucleus and in society. Indeed, he says, “we cannot speak about family without talking about the importance of the elderly among us. There have never been so many of us in the history of humanity, but we don’t quite know how to live this new stage of life: there are many plans for assistance for the old age, but few projects for existence”.
The creativity of the two elderly people in the kitchen pleases the whole family, who witness the result with wonder, seeing the fruit of their efforts and congratulating them for it. The video ends with the grandparents and grandchildren eating the pudding with delight.
“Let us remember”, Pope Francis says, that “grandparents and the elderly are the bread that nourishes our lives, the hidden wisdom of a people. That is why we must celebrate them, and I have established a day dedicated to them”.
With this month’s prayer intention, says Frédéric Fornos, SJ, International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, Pope Francis pays homage to “our grandparents” and to the elderly people “who shared their wisdom and their hope with us”. Just like Simeon and Anna, “they are capable of seeing and listening to what the majority” of people do not grasp.
Available on the internet at www.thepopevideo.org and translated into 23 languages, the video for the prayer intention for July was created and produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, in cooperation with La Machi Agency and the Dicastery for Communication.