Ahead of the Third World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly this Sunday, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life has renewed its invitation for Catholics to celebrate the event by attending Mass or visiting those who are alone. Source: Vatican News.
The theme chosen for this year is “His mercy is from age to age,” recalling a passage from Luke’s Gospel.
Ahead of the celebration, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life released a statement reminding the faithful that Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at St Peter’s Basilica with more than 6000 people, including many seniors.
Specifically, “grandparents accompanied by their grandchildren and families, elderly residents living in retirement and residential nursing homes, as well as many elderly people who are active in parish, diocesan and associational life”.
At the end of the celebration, five seniors – one representative from each continent – “will symbolically hand over the World Youth Day Pilgrim’s Cross to five young people leaving for Lisbon”.
The gesture symbolises the “transmission of faith from age to age” but also “the commitment that the elderly and grandparents have accepted, at the invitation of the Holy Father, to pray for the departing youth and accompany them with their blessing”.
The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life indicated two ways to celebrate the event in every diocese of the world: with a Mass dedicated to grandparents and the elderly or with a visit to those who are alone. “A Plenary indulgence,” according to the statement, “is granted to those who perform these deeds.”
Elderly people symbolise the transmission of faith from age to age (By Edoardo Giribaldi, Vatican News)