In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis urged young people to connect with the elderly using the “inventiveness of love” when isolation is at an all time high by “calling them, videochatting with them, sending them hugs.”
“In the memory of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus, I would like to invite young people to make a gesture of tenderness towards the elderly, especially the most lonely ones in homes and residences, those who have not seen their loved ones for many months. Each of these elderly people are your grandparents. Do not leave them alone. They are your roots.”
Inspired by the words of the Holy Father, the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life launched a new campaign yesterday entitled “The Elderly Are Your Grandparents.”
In their announcement, they said the campaign was an invitation to young people “to do something that shows kindness and affection for older people who may feel lonely.”
“The pandemic has hit the elderly particularly hard and it has disconnected the already weak links between generations. However, respecting social distancing rules does not mean accepting a destiny of loneliness and abandonment. Wherever possible – or whenever the health emergency will allow it – we invite young people to make the embrace even more concrete by visiting elderly in person.”
They also encouraged sharing outreach efforts with the elderly on social media with the hashtag #sendyourhug, saying the best posts would be promoted on its Twitter account, @laityfamilylife.
“Our invitation to young people is to reach out to the loneliest elderly people in their neighborhood or parish and send them a hug, according to the request of the Pope, by means of a phone call, a video call or by sending an image.”