To be celebrated throughout the Church on the 4th Sunday of July.
After praying the midday Angelus on January 31, Pope Francis announced that he is establishing a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.
This day will be celebrated throughout the Church every year on the fourth Sunday in July, he said. This date places it close to the July 26 feast of Sts. Joachim and Ann, the parents of Mary, and thus the grandparents of Jesus.
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The pope made the announcement noting the upcoming feast of the Presentation in the Temple (February 2), when the elderly Simeon and Anna recognized the Child Jesus as the Savior of the world.
The pope said:
The day after tomorrow, 2 February, we will celebrate the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, when Simeon and Anna, both elderly, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, recognised Jesus as the Messiah. The Holy Spirit still stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly today: Their voice is precious because it sings the praises of God and safeguards the roots of peoples. They remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between generations, passing on the experience of life and faith to the young. Grandparents are often forgotten and we forget this wealth of preserving roots and passing on. For this reason, I have decided to establish World Grandparents’ and Elders’ Day, which will be held in all the Church every year on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus’“grandparents.” It is important for grandparents to meet their grandchildren and for grandchildren to meet their grandparents, because – as the prophet Joel says – grandparents, before their grandchildren, will dream, and have great desires, and young people, taking strength from their grandparents, will go forward and prophesy. And 2 February is indeed the feast of the encounter between grandparents and their grandchildren.