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The Blessing of a Long Life   versione testuale
September 28th: Pope Francis will meet elderly people and grandparents from around the world

A day will be dedicated to elderly people and grandparents, who will gather to meet with Pope Francis. This is an initiative conceived and organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family, which will take place in St. Peter's Square, on Sunday, September 28th.
According to the full schedule of the meeting, entitled "The Blessing of a Long Life", the Square will be opened at 7:30 am. The day of celebration will then begin at 9:00 am and culminate at 10:30 am with Holy Mass, presided by His Holiness Pope Francis. The registration form and information will be posted on the site on July 1st.
The spirit behind the initiative has been briefly presented by its primary promoter, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who sums it up by saying: "The day is based on the assumption that old age is not a shipwreck but a vocation. Thanks to God the years of life have accumulated—society permits this—but, on the other hand, on this issue, an adequate reflection has not yet been developed. There is none, neither in politics nor economics, nor in culture.
In my opinion, we should then, through this day, draw everyone’s attention to the importance of this period of human life. It should be stressed that the elderly are not only the object of attention or care, but that they themselves also have a new perspective in life. That's the point. Therefore, their advanced age needs to be rethought, and their commitment to the world and in the Church must be reconsidered. Moreover, even the Church must do this with respect to them. Here's an example: aside from the traditional tasks of transmitting the faith and helping parents, there are other equally important areas to be deepened, such as prayer—they have more time available—and transmitting the Gospel—thus, echoing Anna the prophetess.
Moreover, also in connection with advanced age, there are all the civil aspects, a culture that older people can convey, with particular care to conceive the weakening of life not as a final tragedy but rather as a testimony of hope in the hereafter."
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