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Pope Francis remembers his grandfather who instilled in him a “hatred of war”

During his General Audience, Pope Francis reflected on how much the elderly can teach younger generations, recalling a lesson he learned from his grandfather that stuck with him.

I can offer a personal testimony. My hate, my anger towards war, I learned from my grandfather who fought on the Piave River in 1914. He transmitted this anger towards war, because he told me about the sufferings of war, and you can’t learn this in books. You learn it like that, conveying it from grandparents to grandchildren, and this is irreplaceable.

The Pope also said the dialogue between generations is essential for transmitting the faith.

He says that young people cannot get their faith solely by studying the catechism, rather they need the concrete example of their grandparents.

How is faith transmitted? Here is a book, study it. No. That’s not how you transmit faith. Faith is transmitted in dialect; that is, in family speech, between grandparents and grandchildren. Faith is always transmitted in family dialect experienced over the years. That is why dialogue in a family is so important, the dialogue of children with their grandparents, who are the ones who have the wisdom of faith.

Pope Francis stressed that in transmitting their faith, one should not be afraid to share the mistakes they made, citing how the Bible does not hide the mistakes made by the disciples or characters from the Old testament.

The ideology which bends history to its own ends is not just. Propaganda which adapts history to promote its own group is not honest. It’s not fair to try history to condemn the past and deter any future. Direct person-to-person storytelling carries tones and modes of communicating that no other medium can replace. An old man who has lived a long life and gains the gift of a lucid and impassioned account of his history is an irreplaceable blessing.

Each week, more and more pilgrims are attending the Pope’s events, approaching pre-pandemic levels. This week, they nearly filled Paul VI Audience Hall for the Pope’s Audience.

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