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3rd World Day of Grandparents, Elderly will be July 23


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media - published on 04/13/23

The theme chosen by Pope Francis is "His mercy extends from age to age" (Lk 1:50), which is in line with the WYD theme for a few days later.

The Third World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated on Sunday, July 23, 2023, by Pope Francis at the Vatican, the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life announced in a statement released April 13. This celebration will be held a few days before World Youth Day, which will be held in Lisbon from August 1 to 6.

The theme chosen by Pope Francis is “His mercy extends from age to age” (Lk 1:50), which is in line with the WYD theme, “Mary rose and went in haste” (Lk 1:39). This passage refers to the visit of the young Mary to her elderly cousin Elizabeth, during which she “proclaims loudly and clearly, in the Magnificat, the strength of the covenant between young and old,” the dicastery said.

The Pope will preside at a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on this occasion, and “parishes, dioceses, associations and ecclesial communities throughout the world” are also invited to celebrate it “in their own pastoral context.”

The World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly was instituted in 2021 and is held on the fourth Sunday of July, near the July 26 feast of Saints Anne and Joachim, the grandparents of Jesus.

The first edition was held on July 25, 2021, with a Mass presided over by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, then president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, who had replaced the Pope due to his post-operative convalescence.

In 2022, the Day was overshadowed by the Pope’s trip to Canada, but he had previously issued a message on the theme “They still bear fruit in their old age,” taken from Psalm 92.

Including himself among the elderly, the then 85-year-old pontiff invited them to be bearers of a “revolution of tenderness” that “demilitarizes hearts.”

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