The initiative launched on the occasion of Pope Francis’ encounter with grandparents and the elderly, "Auguri, nonni!"—Best wishes to the grandparents!—, has been a great success. Many grandchildren sent messages by e-mail, on Facebook, Twitter and the site Rai Ragazzi, expressing extraordinary affection to their grandparents.
For example, Alice, Andrew, Rebecca and Matthew, all living in Marzabotto, wrote this to their grandmother: "On this day of celebration we wanted to send our best wishes to our grandmother, Leontina. Special and strong, she listens to us, protects and defends us always ... she is a support and our guide. Best wishes, granny!" Victor and Marie Antoinette, from San Sosthenes (CZ), also enthusiastically sent a note filled with to their elderly relatives: "We send our best wishes to Angela, our grandmother, and to our grandfather, Joseph; to our grandmother and grandfather, Antoinette and Vittorio; and to our great-grandmother, Elena. We would like to say thank you for everything they do for us, for what they we teach and when they say no to us. Yet, their ‘no’ is so different from mom’s and dad’s. Their ‘no’ is filled with love; and my grandmother's lasagna is also different from the one that my mom makes, because my grandmother puts a secret ingredient into it: love for us. Thank you Jesus for having created grandparents! You never make a mistake!"
From Argentina (diocese of Gualeguaychú) Andrea wanted to say: "Thank you, beloved grandparents, for being a song of life;" while an anonymous grandson, in the United States, wanted to remember all the hardships borne by his 95-year-old grandmother throughout her life: "You are member of the great generation that has lived through two world wars, the Great Depression, and in the space age. You grew up eating rationed meals and without indoor plumbing. You spent your youth on a farm and had to leave high school in order to help your family by working in a factory."
Yet, hearty wishes were also sent to the grandparents who celebrated the meeting with Pope Francis in Paradise. Marino, for example—David, Sarah, Tommy and Flavia reminded us—is one of them: "Dear grandpa Marino is always in our hearts! We miss you so much, but we know that today you are celebrating in heaven with the angels, and that you protect us from up there." For those who do no longer have their grandparents, the day of September 28th was also an opportunity to wish joy and well-being to those of all the others. In this sense, Catherine wrote: "I want to address my very best wishes to all the grandparents of the world, because they all deserve them! Unfortunately, I lost my grandparents a long time ago and I really miss them ... but I pray that they be full of joy in God’s light! I give you a big hug, although not in person, I can tell you with my heart, and above all, in spirit, that it is a very hug! And I want to say to you: I love you!!! May the Lord take care of you!"