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Young boy surprises Pope Francis during speech calling for youth-elderly 'alliance'

Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Pope Francis in his weekly General Audience on Wednesday called for stronger ties with young people and the elderly, adding that such an alliance is a key to humanity's future.

In his address, the pope said the elderly bring wisdom and the younger generations bring enthusiasm and blessings that are key to life.

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"Old age must bear witness to children that they are a blessing [by embracing the] mystery of our destination in life," Pope Francis said according to Vatican News.

"It is irresistible when an old person blesses life as it comes their way, laying aside any resentment for life as it goes away," he added. "The witness of the elderly unites the generations of life, the same with the dimensions of time: past, present and future."

The pontiff also said the "white hair" that comes with age is more than a symbol; it's "noble" and "tender."

"The between the elderly and children will save the human family," he added.

"If this dialogue does not take place between the elderly and the young, the future cannot be clearly seen. The alliance between the elderly and children will save the human family."

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Toward the end of Wednesday's General Audience, a small boy abruptly walked up onto the platform to join Francis.

The pope placed a hand on the five-year-old boy's shoulder and patted his head, and seemed surprised and delighted by the child's sudden appearance.

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