Only through the memories of elderly people and the courage of youth can people overcome a global throwaway culture and broaden society’s horizons, Pope Francis said.
The 200th anniversary of Argentina’s independence offers an opportunity for older and younger generations to help continue “the pursuit of our destiny,” the Pope wrote on July 9 in a letter sent to the Argentine bishops’ conference to mark the occasion.
“I am convinced that our motherland needs to bring alive the prophecy of Joel. Only if our grandparents dare to dream and our young people dare to prophesy great things can the motherland be free. We are in need of the dreaming elderly to drive the young who, inspired by those same dreams, run forward with the creativity of prophecy,” he wrote.
The letter, addressed to Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo, president of the Argentine bishops’ conference, commemorated the anniversary of the country’s independence from Spain.
The celebration, the Pope said, “will make us stronger as we journey on the path taken by our ancestors 200 years ago.”
The Pope also highlighted the suffering of the sick, the poor and prisoners, as well as those exploited through child abuse, drugs and human trafficking. They, he added, “are the most afflicted children of the motherland.”
Caring for those who suffer in Argentina is where “the patriotic sense of belonging is rooted,” he said.
“This reality unites us as a family with broad horizons and with the loyalty of brothers. We therefore also pray for this great motherland in our celebration today. May the Lord care for her, make her strong, and defend her from every type of colonisation,” Pope Francis said.
Argentina can look forward to a brighter future only by preserving the “memory of history” preserved by the elderly and the heroism of young people who do not “settle for bureaucratic quietism.”
“With these two hundred years behind us we are called to keep journeying and to keep on looking ahead. To achieve this, I think in a special way of the elderly and the young, and I feel the need to ask their help to continue in the pursuit of our destiny.”