Pope Benedict talks with Enrichetta Vitali, 91, during a visit Nov. 12 to a home for the elderly in Rome.

CNS PHOTO | PAUL HARING

Pope Benedict talks with Enrichetta Vitali, 91, during a visit Nov. 12 to a home for the elderly in Rome.

November 19, 2012

Presenting himself as “an elderly man visiting his peers,” Pope Benedict visited a Rome residence for the elderly, urging the residents to see their age as a sign of God’s blessing and urging society to value their presence and wisdom.

“Though I know the difficulties that come with being our age, I want to say, it’s wonderful being old,” the 85-year-old pope said Nov. 12 during a morning visit to the residence.

The pope told those gathered at the residence that in the Bible a long life is considered a blessing from God, but often today society, which is “dominated by the logic of efficiency and profit, doesn’t welcome it as such.”

He continued, “The quality of a society or civilization can be judged by how it treats the elderly.

One who makes room for the elderly, makes room for life. One who welcomes the elderly, welcomes life.”