Pope: 'I am with you always’, the theme of World Grandparents' Day
The Day will be celebrated on 25 July. In announcing it, Francis said that grandparents “remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between generations, passing on the experience of life and faith to the young.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis chose “I am with you always” (cf. Mt 28:20) as the theme for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will be celebrated on Sunday, 25 July.
In a press release, the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life noted that the theme chosen by Francis “is a way of expressing the closeness of the Lord and the Church to every older person, especially in these challenging pandemic times.”
“‘I am with you always’ is also a promise of closeness and hope that young and old can mutually share. Not only are grandchildren and young people called upon to be present in the lives of older people, but older people and grandparents also have a mission of evangelisation, proclamation and prayer, and of encouraging young people in their faith.”
On 31 January of this year, Pope Francis first announced World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. “The day after tomorrow, 2 February, we will celebrate the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, when Simeon and Anna, both elderly, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, recognized Jesus as the Messiah.
“The Holy Spirit still stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly today: their voice is precious because it sings the praises of God and safeguards the roots of peoples. They remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between generations, passing on the experience of life and faith to the young. Grandparents are often forgotten and we forget this wealth of preserving roots and passing on.
“This is why, I have decided to establish World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will be held throughout the Church every year on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ ‘grandparents’.”
In order to highlight the importance of this day, Francis quoted the Prophet Joel: “[G]randparents, before their grandchildren, will dream, and have illusions [great desires], and young people, taking strength from their grandparents, will go forward and prophesy.”
In order to encourage the celebration of the Day in local churches and associations, the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life will provide some pastoral tools, starting in mid-June, that will be available on the website of Amoris Laetitia Family.