The third World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated throughout the universal Church on July 23. Pope Francis has chosen the theme “His mercy from age to age” (Luke 1:50). In so doing, he wishes to emphasize the importance of the relational interconnection between the elderly and the young. This theme ties in with the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD), scheduled for August 1-6 in Lisbon.
“The Lord trusts that young people, through their relationships with the elderly, will realize that they are called to cultivate memory and recognize the beauty of being part of a much larger history. Friendship with an older person can help the young to see life not only in terms of the present and realize that not everything depends on them and their abilities. For the elderly, the presence of a young person in their lives can give them hope that their experience will not be lost and that their dreams can find fulfilment”, mentions the Pope in his message.
The latter invites parishes, dioceses, associations and ecclesial communities around the world to celebrate the Day in their own pastoral context. Tools have been provided to facilitate these celebrations (including a prayer) and encourage collective awareness.
In this regard, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) offers a video clip and calls for visits or special events to promote the role of seniors and grandparents.
Let’s remember that this World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly was instituted on January 31, 2021 by Pope Francis. It is celebrated every year on the 4th Sunday of July, in the period when the liturgical memory of Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents of Jesus and parents of the Virgin Mary, is remembered.