At Christmas, young called to share the 'Gift of wisdom' of elderly online

The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is launching a campaign to invite young people to spread the "virtual hugs" exchanged with the elderly online with the initiative "The elderly are your grandparents".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Young people are being called upon to share "virtual hugs" online through the gifts they have received from elderly people thanks to the "The elderly are your grandparents" campaign launched last summer by the Dicastery for the laity, the family and life to follow up on the July 26 appeal of Pope Francis.

At the Angelus, Francis invited young people to "to perform a gesture of tenderness towards the elderly, especially the loneliest, in their homes and in residences, those who have not seen their loved ones for many months. Dear young people, each one of these elderly people is your grandparent! Do not leave them by themselves. Use the inventiveness of love, make telephone calls, video calls, send messages, listen to them and, where possible, in compliance with healthcare regulations, go to visit them too. Send them a hug. They are your roots.”

The same Dicastery is now launching the campaign “A Gift of Wisdom At Christmas, let’s listen to grandparents and the elderly”.

“We are approaching Christmas, when Jesus is born within our families. This year, in the particular climate in which we are living, there is an opportunity for young people to receive a special gift. Because of the pandemic, there are more elderly people who live alone. We can create bonds with each of them – this is a treasure waiting to be discovered! Following the success of our campaign: “The elderly are your grandparents”, in which we collected virtual hugs sent by many young people to both their own grandparents and to “adopted grandparents,” the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life now invites boys and girls from all over the world to send a message to the elderly and to receive in return the gift of their wisdom, #aGiftOfWisdom.”

"Today, in the difficult circumstances of a Christmas still overshadowed by the pandemic, we are proposing that young people post on social media a memory, a piece of advice, or a “gift of wisdom” they have received from one of the elderly people with whom they have formed a bond in recent months. Unfortunately, in many cases, because of the health regulations in force, visiting can only take place remotely, via telephone, videocalls, and messaging. But it is possible to participate in this campaign by posting the wise words of grandparents and the elderly on social media using the hashtag #aGiftOfWisdom. Some of the best posts will be shared on the social media accounts of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life @laityfamilylife.”