18 February 2021
The elderly: a precious resource for the Holy Faithful People of God
Address of Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello on the institution of the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly
On 11 February, l’Osservatore Romano published an address of the Secretary of the Dicastery, Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello, I. Sch., on the institution of the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, which the Holy Father has chosen to celebrate every fourth Sunday in July, near the liturgical memorial of Sts. Joachim and Ann, the grandparents of Jesus.
In the text, Fr. Awi Mello points out that “Recognizing the ecclesial value of the faith of those who are simple is one of the features of this pontificate which is destined to shape the future of the Church.” And so therefore, “The decisions to establish the World Day of the Poor and the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly are in profound harmony with each other, since this shows that the poor and the elderly are not merely ‘clients’ of the Church, but are rather a significant part of the Catholic laity.”
Taking the great worth the Pope attributes to the elderly as our starting point, our Secretary concludes, we can better understand the Holy Father’s insistence on opposing the “throw-away” culture.