Vatican

Pope institutes the first World Day of the Elderly

A greater dedication to the elderly: July 25 will be the first World Day dedicated to grandparents and the elderly. 

Giovanni Tridente-January 31, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes
world day of grandparents and the elderly

Not to forget "the richness of preserving the roots and transmitting"Pope Francis has decided to establish the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly for the whole Church, to give young people the experience of life and faith that only grandparents and the elderly can give.

It will take place on the fourth Sunday of JulyThe "Saints Joachim and Anne," the ".grandparents"of Jesus. This year it will fall on July 25, and will form part of the initiatives of the Year of the Family Amoris laetitiacoordinated by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.

The Pope announced it at the end of this Sunday's Angelus, anticipating the upcoming feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, on February 2, "when Simon and Anna, both of them elders, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, recognized in Jesus the Messiah". A feast that celebrates - according to Pope Francis - precisely ".grandparents meeting grandchildren".

Beautiful voice

The voice of the elderly is precious - the Holy Father explained - because the Holy Spirit continues to arouse in them".thoughts and words of wisdom"which allow them to guard "the roots of the people".

Old age -Francis reiterated- "is a gift"and grandparents "are the link between generations". So "it is important for grandparents to know grandchildren and for grandchildren to know grandparents"to make "prophecies"in future generations.

It is not the first time that Pope Francis has referred to the importance of "do not rule out"He has also suggested that the young people get together and listen to them so as not to lose their roots. We have heard this idea from him on numerous occasions during the eight years of his pontificate.

Eight years since the first claim

It seems, however, that the first occasion on which he made a detailed reflection on this "intergenerational emergency" dates back to a few months after his election, when on July 25, 2013 - and this is a very interesting coincidence - he met with young Argentines in the Cathedral of San Sebastian at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

Make a mess

On that occasion, he asked the elders not to let "to be the cultural reserve of our people that transmits justice, that transmits history, that transmits values, that transmits the memory of the people.". And to the young people not to oppose their elders, but to ".let them speak, listen to them, and carry them forward.". We also find the famous "Make a mess; take care of the extremes of the people, which are the old and the young; do not let yourselves be excluded, and do not exclude the elderly".

Cardinal Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, commented on the Holy Father's decision stating that ".the pastoral care of the elderly is a priority that cannot be postponed for every Christian community.". And he invited parishes and dioceses around the world to find ways to celebrate the Day at the local level in a way that suits their own pastoral context.

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