A BIT OF HISTORY
The friendship with the elderly, begun in 1972, continued through the years with fidelity to both people and problems.
Friendship has been the means which has helped us deeply penetrate the elderly continent.
Friendship has been the means which has helped us deeply penetrate the elderly continent. We meet in fact our first elderly friends in Rome in the suburbs of Primavalle, Garbatella, and then in Trastevere in the historical centre of town where the ancient doors of the Sant’Egidio monastery reopen to welcome the Community for evening prayer. The elderly were among the first to come along and adhere to Community prayer. Back then we were all young, university or high school students. We did not have a “geriatric” culture nor were we aware that deep transformations were taking place in our society which in a matter of decades would be referred to as “demographic revolution”. We were attracted by the elderly because they seemed to be extremely ill from solitude and they asked simply company and support. A mutual feeling arose, we began tuning in their problems. Filomena, Venere, Paolina, Nello and many others: are persons with whom we wrote an important part of our history as a Christian community. A true "alliance" of the Community with the elderly grew.
Even if the taste, culture, language was very different, we discovered the possibility of a friendship between different generations, between a youngster and an aged person. We could offer to them the most precious thing we had: brotherhood. As friends we could help, understand, listen and support them.