Monday, July 15, 2024
Parish Life

Grandparents Day: July 24 & 25

Pope Francis instituted the World Day of Prayer for Grandparents & Elderly Persons earlier this year.

The Church will be observing Grandparents Day on July 24 & 25.

The pope’s vision for the day is for everyone in the world to offer prayers for grandparents and the elderly. He also encourages visits to grandparents and older people who are alone.

The Church is offering a plenary indulgence to anyone who makes a visit to an older person living alone.



Prayer for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

I thank You, Lord,
for the comfort of Your presence:
even in times of loneliness,
You are my hope and my confidence,
You have been my rock and my fortress since my youth!
I thank You for having given me a family
and for having blessed me with a long life.
I thank You for moments of joy and difficulty,
for the dreams that have already come true in my life and for those that are still ahead of me.
I thank You for this time of renewed fruitfulness to which You call me.
Increase, O Lord, my faith,
make me a channel of your peace,
teach me to embrace those who suffer more than me, to never stop dreaming
and to tell of your wonders to new generations.
Protect and guide Pope Francis and the Church,
that the light of the Gospel might reach the ends of the earth. Send Your Spirit, O Lord, to renew the world,
that the storm of the pandemic might be calmed,
the poor consoled and wars ended.
Sustain me in weakness
and help me to live life to the full
in each moment that You give me,
in the certainty that you are with me every day, even until the end of the age.


From the Holy Father’s document:
  • The first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated in circumstances in which it will still not be possible in many countries for the elderly to physically attend Mass.
  • In order for the message of closeness and consolation to reach everyone on this World Day − even those who are most isolated − we ask people to visit their grandparents and the elderly living alone in their community and to give them the Holy Father’s message.
  • A visit is a tangible sign of a Church of outreach. At a time of social distancing because of the pandemic, a visit shows that there is a way of being close to older people while still observing safety measures.
  • A visit is a personal choice to arise and go in haste to others (cf. Lk 1:39), just as Mary did when she visited her elderly cousin Elizabeth.
  • A visit is an opportunity for a grandchild to say to his or her grandparent and for a young person to say to an elderly person they are visiting, “I am with you always”.
  • A visit can be an opportunity to bring a gift, such as a flower, and to read the World Day prayer together.
  • A visit can also be an occasion to offer the elderly, especially those who have not left their homes for a long time, an opportunity to receive the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist.
  • A visit to an older person living alone is one of the ways of obtaining a Plenary Indulgence granted on the occasion of this World Day.
About the Plenary Indulgence
  • On 13 May, the Apostolic Penitentiary promulgated a Decree granting a Plenary Indulgence on the occasion of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.
  • The elderly can obtain an Indulgence by participating in one of the Masses celebrated on the occasion of this World Day.
  • In view of the continuing health emergency and the fact that some elderly people are unable to attend Mass in person for health reasons, the Indulgence is extended to those who participate via television, radio or the internet.
  • The Indulgence is also granted to all those who perform a ‘work of mercy’ on this World Day by visiting an elderly person who is alone.
  • In places where visiting in person is expressly forbidden by the public authorities in order to avoid contagion, it is also possible to obtain the Indulgence through a virtual meeting.

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