The First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated on Sunday, July 25, announced the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
The theme chosen by Pope Francis for this first commemoration is “I am with you always” (Mt 28:20). This text expresses the closeness of the Lord and the Church to every older person, especially in these challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After praying the midday Angelus on January 31, 2021, Pope Francis announced that he is establishing a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.
The theme, “I am with you always” is also “a promise of closeness and hope that young and old can mutually share,” notes the press release.
Not only are grandchildren and youths invited to be present in the lives of older people, but older people and grandparents also have a mission of evangelization, proclamation and prayer, and of encouraging young people in their faith.
To further encourage the celebration of the World Day in local churches and associations, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life will offer pastoral tools from mid-June, which will be available on the website www.amorislaetitia.va
Pope Francis’ concern for the elderly is one of his frequent themes in his speeches and travels. Not only does he advocate for the elderly and their concerns (for example, by decrying the growing push for euthanasia). But he also notes how important the elderly are for society today and the future of the social fabric.