Pope Francis sets up World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, a church-wide celebration, has been established by Pope Francis. The celebration is expected to begin this year and it will be marked on the fourth Sunday of July. This day is equally near the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne who were the grandparents of Jesus.

Pope Francis made this declaration when he recalled the forthcoming feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. At this feast, the elderly Simeon and Anna met the child Jesus and acknowledged Him as the Messiah. Pope Francis remarked that the Holy Spirit up till now spurs the thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly. He also affirmed that the voice of the elderly is valuable because it sings the praises of God and makes the roots of the people preserved.

Furthermore, Pope Francis said that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the bridge between the different generations. Hence, they are to transfer the experience of life to the younger generation.

The elderly should be remembered
According to the revered spiritual leader, he instituted the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly because he felt grandparents are often forgotten. Likewise, we often do not remember these riches of conserving roots and transferring what the elderly has. He also laid emphasis on the need for grandparents and grand children to be acquainted with each other. While the grandparents watch their grand children dream, the younger generation would receive strength from their grandparents. More so, they will go forth and prophesy, according to Prophet Joel.

First fruits of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year
After the announcement, a press release was made by the Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Cardinal Kevin Farrell. He said that setting up the Day of Grandparents and the Elderly is the first fruits of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, a gift to the whole Church that is destined to continue into the future.

In addition, he stated that it is a priority to care for the elderly and this cannot be moved forward by any Christian community. Hence, there must be a chain of human and spiritual wealth from one generation to another. No one should be saved alone.

Young people, the elderly, and the prophecy of Joel
Further points were made on the need to close the gap between the younger and older generations. The older generations cannot save themselves. This was evident in the COVID-19 pandemic. In the same vein, the society cannot thrive alone without the elderly. Hence, they have to exist with values and understanding in the society.

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