In old age they will still bear fruit (Psalm 92:15)
Last year, Pope Francis announced a new celebration to honour all grandparents and the elderly, to be celebrated on the fourth Sunday in July. This year, the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated this Sunday, 24 July. This is the closest Sunday to the feast days for Saints Joachim and Anne. Anne and Joachim are the parents of Mary, Mother of God, and Jesus’ grandparents and as such they are the patron saints of grandparents.
2022 sees the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly being celebrated against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and conflict in many other parts of the world, fires raging through Europe and England as well as the multiple outbreaks of Covid-19. Pope Francis in his message invites Grandparents in particular “to teach the women and men of our time to regard others with the same understanding and loving gaze with which we regard our own grandchildren. Our grandparents held us in their arms and carried us on their knees; now is the time for us to carry on our own knees – with practical assistance or with prayer alone – not only our own grandchildren but also the many frightened grandchildren whom we have not yet met and who may be fleeing from war or suffering its effects.”
Pope Francis invites everyone to celebrate this day so that we ensure “no one lives this day in loneliness.”
As Catholics, we believe that every human person is precious, and that all life is sacred and must be protected. During a pandemic that has had a worldwide impact leaving many lonely and isolated, the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is a reminder for all of us to honour and celebrate grandparents and the elderly. We are encouraged to care for the elderly with respect for the gifts of their generation and the “enduring fruitfulness” they can share with all of us and the Church.
Read Pope Francis’ message for the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.