Riccardi Andrea: on the web

Riccardi Andrea: on social networks

change language
you are in: home - friendsh...the poor - the aged - a bit of history - filomena contact usnewsletterlink

Support the Community

  

Filomena


 
printable version

FILOMENA'S STORY

We became acquainted with Filomena in 1973. She lived in the old neighbourhood of Trastevere in the heart of Rome, very close to the Church of Sant’Egidio where the Community began to gather to pray. Filomena, who was always looking for genuine friendship with people and wore a scarf around her hair, always made herself known because of her spontaneous friendly attitude. Since she was alone, she spent her days looking for company, for someone to talk with. The “low” housing quarter was too narrow and empty for her vivacious personality and so Filomena usually went out of the house early and wandered around the small streets in Trastevere where everyone knew her. 

Filomena - Rome - 1974When the Sant’Egidio monastery, closed for some years, reopened and became full of youngsters of the Community, Filomena would pop in out of curiosity. She found a warm and friendly welcome there so she started to come regularly every day to say hello. She was one of the first elderly ladies we got to know. 

Filomena was a bit absent minded. Frequently she couldn’t find her things, particularly her social security booklet that she hid carefully because her entire existence and independence depended on it. So often she would come to Sant’Egidio very anxious asking for help to find her booklet. Besides us, the store owners, neighbours represented for her a useful network of protection for this pleasant old lady a bit absent minded who, despite her difficulties due to her age could nevertheless continue to carry out a normal existence. 

Filomena’s vitality was really exuberant. She was able to tell many stories about the neighbourhood and its old inhabitants. She knew a wide repertoire of songs and Roman sayings which she would sing with a great powerful voice. It was pleasant to talk to her and Filomena was always able to steel some time away from her listeners.

One day Filomena did not ring at Sant’Egidio’s door and it was impossible to find her at home. She was hospitalised in the Cronic Ward of a hospital because her nephews who didn’t live in Rome thought this to be the most secure solution for her since she “was not anymore in her right mind.” When we were able to find her we saw before us a different person. She didn’t talk, she couldn’t recognise anyone, she just cried and waned. They had cut her hair which were thick beforehand and she was proud of them. She was ashamed of this and she covered her face in order to hide her humiliation. In a few days time she let herself die without allowing us to do everything possible to discharge her so she could begin again her normal life.

Then we understood the danger of alienating someone from her own environment and the negative effects of institutionalisation especially if it’s against one’s will.

The Aged


 ALSO READ
• NEWS
July 7 2011

Moyo (Uganda) - Food, houses and ... a goat, to make the elderly live better

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | NL
July 5 2011

Aging in Africa: In Douala, in Cameroon, free medical visits for the elderly poor

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | NL | RU
July 1 2011

Kiev (Ukraine) - On vacation with the elderly, to say that a long life is a value for all

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | NL | RU
May 16 2011

On May 9th, the anniversary of the end of World War II, became in Kiev the party of solidarity between generations

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | NL | RU | UK
May 9 2011

Friendship resurrects the life of the elderly in Tanzania

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | NL | RU
April 11 2011

Friends of the elderly in Pakistan: visit to the nursing home for the elderly in Yohannabad

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | NL | RU
all news
• PRESS
December 1 2013
Criterio

Andrea Riccardi: “No será fácil sacar a la Iglesia de su envejecimiento”

June 14 2017
La Vanguardia

La soledad mata a más ancianos que el calor

January 27 2016
Würzburger katholisches Sonntagsblatt

Keine Berührungsängste

February 27 2014
Toscana oggi

Anziani, case famiglia contro la solitudine

October 29 2013
La Repubblica - Ed. Genova

Sant'Egidio, la forza degli anni così gli anziani insegnano la vita.

October 27 2013
Avvenire - Ed. Milano

Nella casa confiscata oggi vivono gli anziani soli

all press releases
• EVENTI
October 28 2017 | FLORENCE, ITALY

Anziani, Festa di Sant'Abramo

October 13 2017 | FLORENCE, ITALY

Convegno ''La forza degli anni'', da Firenze gli anziani parlano al mondo

All meetings of prayer for peace
• DOCUMENTS
Comunità di Sant'Egidio

Progetto ''Una città per gli anziani, una città per tutti''

Alcuni dati: il numero di anziani soli in Italia

Alcuni dati: popolazione anziana nel mondo

I dati del programma Viva gli Anziani!

Comunità di Sant'Egidio

Scheda del programma Viva gli Anziani (Giugno 2017)

Intervento di Irma, anziana romana, durante la visita di papa Francesco a Sant'Egidio

all documents

PHOTOS

650 visits

628 visits

642 visits

637 visits

725 visits
all the related media