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Pope Francis delivered his Angelus address with a grandmother and grandson at his side (Vatican Media)

Calling for “a new bond between the young and old”, Pope Francis marked the third annual World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly with an intergenerational Mass Sunday in St Peter’s Basilica. Source: CNA.

Old age is a “blessed time,” the Pope affirmed in his homily, “for it is the season to be reconciled, a time for looking tenderly at the light that has shone despite the shadows, confident in the hope that the good wheat sown by God will prevail over the weeds with which the devil has wanted to plague our hearts.”

“How much we need a new bond between young and old,” Pope Francis said, “so that the sap of those who have a long experience of life behind them will nourish the shoots of hope of those who are growing. In this fruitful exchange we can learn the beauty of life, build a fraternal society, and in the Church, be enabled to encounter one another and dialogue between tradition and the newness of the Spirit.”

Sunday marked the first time Pope Francis presided over the special papal Mass since initiating the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly in 2021. The celebration is now held on the fourth Sunday of July — the Sunday closest to the July 26 feast of Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus.

Joining some 6,000 grandparents and older people at the liturgy were young people bound for World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, which begins August 1. Before the final blessing of the Mass, five youths and five elderly people, representing the five continents, processed to the front of the basilica. The elderly people then placed pilgrim’s crosses around the necks of the young people.


Pope Francis celebrates World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly (CNA)