By Deborah Castellano Lubov
The Church is preparing to celebrate the third World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly on Sunday, 23 July, announced the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, in a statement on Thursday.
The Church observes the World Day each year on the fourth Sunday in July, close to the feast of Jesus’ grandparents, Saints Joachim and Anne.
Pope Francis instituted this day in 2021 since, he believes, grandparents are often forgotten, yet they “are the link between generations, passing on the experience of life and faith to the young”.
- ‘His mercy is from age to age’
Pope Francis chose as this year’s theme “His mercy is from age to age” (Lk 1:50), which expresses the link with World Youth Day, 1-6 August 2023, which will take place shortly thereafter in Lisbon, Portugal.
The World Youth Day’s theme “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39) shows us, the Dicastery’s statement noted, the young Mary who sets out to go and find her elderly cousin Elizabeth and who loudly proclaims, in the Magnificat, the strength of the alliance between young and old.
On the occasion of the day, the Holy Father will preside over a Eucharistic liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica and invites parishes, dioceses, associations and ecclesial communities from all over the world to celebrate the day in their own pastoral context.