31 January 2021
Announcement of the establishment of a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
Cardinal Farrell “this is the first fruits of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year"
As announced today after the Angelus, Pope Francis has decided to institute a Church-wide celebration of a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. Starting this year, it will be held on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents of Jesus.
Cardinal Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, pointed out that “this is the first fruits of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, a gift to the whole Church that is destined to continue into the future. The pastoral care of the elderly is a priority that can no longer be postponed by any Christian community. In the encyclical Fratelli Tutti, the Holy Father reminds us that no one is saved alone. With this in mind, we must treasure the spiritual and human wealth that has been handed down from generation to generation”.
“Our Dicastery”, Cardinal Farrell said, “has already held the first International Congress on the Pastoral Care of the Elderly. Today more than ever, we are committed to making every effort to dismantle the throwaway culture and to enhance the charisms of grandparents and the elderly”.
On the First World Day, which will occur during Amoris Laetitia Family Year, Pope Francis will preside the evening Mass of Sunday 25 July in St Peter’s, subject to sanitary regulations in place at that time.
Closer to the World Day, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life will announce any further initiatives that will mark the event. As of now, the Dicastery is inviting parishes and dioceses around the world to celebrate this World Day at the local level in ways that are suited to their pastoral context.