The World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, established as an annual celebration last year by Pope Francis, will take place on July 24.
The theme is “In old age they will still bear fruit” (Ps 92:15).
In speaking about the day, the Holy Father addressed his generation to remind them that those in old age have an important mission in life. They are called to be “artisans of the revolution of tenderness” and to “set the world free from the spectre of loneliness and the demon of war,” he said.
The Pope invited the elderly to rediscover this stage as “the gift of a long life.”
The World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is celebrated every year throughout the Church on the fourth Sunday of July, around the feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne, the “grandparents” of Jesus.
Pope Francis acknowledged the difficulties that old age entails in the lives of individuals and in society. However, he invited the elderly to “persevere in hope” and pointed out that a long life is also a gift for the whole of society.
The Holy Father invited grandparents and the elderly to continue to bear fruit and proposed to them to live in a particular way the dimension of prayer. This, Pope Francis points out, is “the most valuable instrument at our disposal and, indeed, the one best suited to our age”. A “trustful prayer can do a great deal: it can accompany the cry of pain of those who suffer, and it can help change hearts.”
All elderly who participate in World Day liturgies, and all those who visit an elderly person who is alone during the days before and after the liturgies, will receive a Plenary Indulgence.