Holy Father, Pope Francis has decided to institute a Church-wide celebration of a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly from this year. It will be observed on the fourth Sunday in July, which is close to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne who are the grandparents of Jesus Christ.
While recalling the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, the Holy Father said “The Holy Spirit even today stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly. The voice of the elderly is precious as it sings the praises of God and preserves the roots of the peoples.”
According to him, the elderly remind us that old age is a gift and grandparents are a link between different generations and they pass on to the youngsters, their experiences of life.
The main reason for the institution of World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is that they are often forgotten. The Holy Father emphasised the need for grandparents and grandchildren getting to know one another is as Prophet Joel puts it “grandparents seeing their grandchildren dream, while young people draw strength from their grandparents, will go forward and prophesy.”
This year, it will be celebrated on Sunday, July 25 in St. Peter’s, subject to health measures in place at the time. It is seen as a measure to bridge the gap between the elderly and the younger generations.