Some 2,000 of the faithful are expected for Sunday's Mass on the 1st World Day for Grandparents and Elderly in St. Peter's.
In Rome, the 1st World Day for Grandparents and Elderly will be celebrated with a Mass on Sunday, July 25, at 10 a.m. inside St. Peter’s Basilica, celebrated by Cardinal Rino Fisichella. It was originally announced that Pope Francis would celebrate the Mass, but on Friday, it was reported by the Vatican press office that the Holy Father is continuing to rest after his July 4 colon surgery.
The congregation for the Mass will include some 2,000 people: from associations that carry out pastoral activities for the elderly, and most of all, grandparents accompanied by their grandchildren. There will also be several hundred elderly people who, for the first time, will be able to leave the homes in which they have been isolated for more than a year.
At the end of the celebration, the young people present in St. Peter’s will offer the grandparents and elderly a flower with the theme: I am with you always.
The day will be celebrated in dioceses and parishes all over the world as well.
The Holy Father established the World Day in January:
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.”
The Dicastery invites everyone, especially younger people, to celebrate the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly by visiting their own grandparents or the elderly who are alone in their communities.
The visit offers the opportunity for a plenary indulgence and can also be an opportunity for delivering the Holy Father’s message and reciting the prayer.