Background: 1st World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly (July 25)
July 23, 2021
On January 31, Pope Francis announced that he was establishing the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, “which will be held throughout the Church every year on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ ‘grandparents.’”
“The Holy Spirit still stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly today: their voice is precious because it sings the praises of God and safeguards the roots of peoples,” the Pope explained. “They remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between generations, passing on the experience of life and faith to the young. Grandparents are often forgotten and we forget this wealth of preserving roots and passing on.”
Following the January 31 announcement:
- On May 13, the Apostolic Penitentiary issued a decree enriching the day with special indulgences.
- On May 31, Pope Francis signed “I am with you always,” his Message for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.
- On June 22, Cardinal Kevin Farrell (prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life) and others discussed the day and the message at a Vatican press conference
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- Decree on the Granting of the Indulgence on the Occasion of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
- Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly [25 July 2021]
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