Since the beginning the Sant’Egidio Community has wanted to look after the elderly. Our friendship with the elderly began in 1972 and has continued faithfully through the years and it has helped us to understand more deeply the elderly world.
Every Sant’Egidio Community from North to South lives out this special love for the elderly; we share their anxiety, their life and their faith. This experience has been a school of human maturity for the Community. Elderly are quite special friends to us. Indeed in the Community’s history solidarity has been lived out with the elderly in a considerable way. This was not because the elderly were the first or the emerging problem but because they were among the poorest.
To live near the elderly all these years has given everybody a wealth of experience and sensitivity, which we have placed at the service of many in order to build a culture of solidarity and hospitality towards the aged.
Staying close to the elderly, helping and supporting them reawakens in everyone a taste for life, which means not throwing away one’s existence or wasting one’s energy. It means rather investing in humanity and solidarity with others. The elderly receive help from those who are younger and support them, but they also give a lot in terms of affection, friendship and meaning to life. It is like a school of humanity.