Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the granting of the Plenary Indulgence on the occasion of World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly | Click Here
What is World Day for Grandparents & the Elderly?
The biblical figures of Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Elizabeth and Zechariah, Simeon, and Anna each remind us, in the words of St. John Paul II, that “…at every stage of life the Lord can ask each of us to contribute what talents we have. The service of the gospel has nothing to do with age!” (St. John Paul II, “Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the Elderly” 1999)
Pope Francis, in expanding upon the groundwork of his predecessors, has proclaimed the fourth Sunday of July as World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly to acknowledge and celebrate the indispensable treasure of those “rich in years.” While there are separate days of secular recognition for both grandparents and the elderly in the autumn, this combined day of honor, during the more relaxed days of summer and inserted into the liturgical calendar, offers a grand opportunity to emphasize the holy bonds we share in our families and our communities. The temporal proximity to the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus, is intended to reinforce the vital role of family in honoring the gifts of age.
In preparing for this day, we can contemplate the profound beauty of our Catholic Faith and traditions, the giving and receiving of love through our generational ties, and the perpetual communion we share with our forebearers. We pray this website will be the beginning of a spiritual journey that strengthens faith, family, and community: nurturing intergenerational bonds and helping us to “love the Lord with all your heart …. and your neighbor as yourself” (Lk 11:25-27) which is the key to our ultimate goal of sharing in God’s eternal life.