In anticipation of Argentina’s Independence Day bicentenary on Saturday,( 9 July 1816), Pope Francis sent a special message calling for the homeland to fulfill the prophesy of Joel (1st chapter. 4th verse) — only if our grandparents dare to dream and our youths to prophesy great things can our homeland be free.
“We need grandfathers with dreams which drive the young — inspired by those same dreams — running forward with the creativity of the prophesy”.
The full message:
On the eve of the celebrations of the Bicentennial of independence, I wish to send my cordial greetings to you my brother-bishops, to the national authorities and to all the Argentine people. I want these celebrations to make us stronger following the path taken by our elders 200 years ago. With these greetings I wish to express to all Argentines my proximity and the assurance that I will pray for you.
In a special way I want to be close to those who suffer the most — the sick, the destitute, the prisoners, the lonely, the jobless and all in want, the victims of human-trafficking and white slavery, abused children and so many young people trapped by the scourge of drugs. They all carry a heavy weight and are often at the very limit. They are the most blistered children of our fatherland.
Yes, children of the fatherland. In school we were taught to speak of the motherland, to love the motherland. This has its roots precisely in the patriotic sense of belonging — in our love of the motherland. We Argentines use an expression, bold and picturesque at the same time, when we refer to unscrupulous people: “He’d even sell his mother” but we know and feel deeply in our hearts that mothers are not for sale, that they cannot be sold — and neither can the motherland.
We are celebrating 200 years along the road of a homeland which, in its desires and anxieties for brotherhood, projects itself beyond the boundaries of this country towards the Greater Fatherland of which José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar dreamed. This reality unites us in a family of broad horizons and fraternal loyalty. That Greater Fatherland should also be included in our prayers during our celebrations — may the Lord look after it, making it stronger and more beautiful, defending it from every kind of colonization.
These 200 years behind us call upon us to keep treading that path looking ahead. In order to achieve that, I think (in a special way) of the old and the young, feeling the need to call upon them to help continue travelling towards our destiny. Addressing the old, those with memories of our history, I would ask them to rise above this “disposable culture” which is being imposed on us worldwide and dare to dream. We need their dreams, a source of inspiration. Addressing youth, I would ask them not to mortgage their existence by becoming premature pensioners in some passive bureaucratic job in which they would be cornered by so many proposals lacking illusion or heroism. I am convinced that our homeland needs to fulfill the prophesy of Joel (1st chapter. 4th verse) — only if our grandparents dare to dream and our youths to prophesy great things can our homeland be free. We need grandfathers with dreams which drive the young — inspired by those same dreams — running forward with the creativity of the prophesy.
Dear brothers, I ask God, our father and lord, to bless our homeland and all of us, extending my prayers to the Virgin of Luján who, as a mother, takes care of us along the way. And please do not forget to pray for me.
Vatican City, Pope Francis