In his message for the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, the Holy Father urges the Catholics to pray for grandparents and elderly people, calling them "teachers of tenderness."
Pope Francis highlighted the importance of the elderly to our society. He exhorted Catholics to pray for them and to take extra care of them.
“We elderly people often have a special sensitivity for care, for reflection, and affection”, Pope said. They also have many gifts to offer the community.
“Let us pray for the elderly, that they may become teachers of tenderness so that their experience and wisdom may help young people to look towards the future with hope and responsibility”, he added.
He also stated that our world, which is rife with conflict, needs "a true revolution of tenderness” and that the elderly may help reduce some of society's harshness.
The pope asked all believers to pray for the longevity of the elderly so that their experience and knowledge may inspire young people to look to the future with optimism and responsibility.
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, told Vatican News that Pope Francis wants everyone to be aware of the "importance of the elderly in the life of society and our communities" regularly and systematically through pastoral outreach.
"In addition to saying again how important it is to fight against the throwaway culture," he said, "the Pope also seems to want to offer reference points for those experiencing the bewilderment of finding themselves getting along in years."
Pope Francis established the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly to be observed on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the liturgical memory of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus.
The announcement of this event coincided with the particular Year on the Family, which began on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, the Husband of Mary, on March 19, 2021 and concluded at the World Meeting of Families in Rome in June 2022.
World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly in 2022 will be July 24. This year's theme is "In Old Age They Will Still Bear Fruit" (Ps. 92:15). The theme is intended to highlight how grandparents are a blessing to society and the Church.
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