World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly: July 25, 2021
Pope Francis has decided to institute a Church-wide celebration of a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly on the fourth Sunday of July. Beginning this year on Sunday, July 25, 2021, it has been scheduled close to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus (July 26).
The theme chosen by the Pope for the inaugural commemoration is “I am with you always” (Mt 28: 30). The Pope’s message comes amid the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected everyone, especially elderly people. “The Lord is aware of all that we have been through in this time,” the Pope said, “He is close to those who felt isolated and alone, feelings that became more acute during the pandemic.” Illustrating this, he recounted the story of St. Joachim, the grandfather of Jesus, who, according to tradition, was consoled by a messenger of the Lord when he felt estranged from those around him.
The Pope, speaking as a fellow elderly person, prays that every grandfather, every grandmother and every older person, especially those who are most alone, will receive the visit of an angel. If you have the gift of youth or youthfulness, why not actively choose to be an angel on earth to an elder this week! Or bring a grandparent back to Mass in person for their first time since Quarantine.
For inspiration, read or view a video of the Pope’s full message to the Elderly here on the Vatican website: