Pope Francis invites grandparents to join a ‘spiritual and non-violent revolution’

Pope Francis invites grandparents to join a ‘spiritual and non-violent revolution’

Pope Francis visits the San Raffaele Borona assisted living home in Rieti, Italy, Oct. 4, 2016. VATICAN MEDIA

By Catholic News Agency

May 10, 2022

VATICAN— Pope Francis invited grandparents and the elderly on Tuesday to join a “spiritual and non-violent revolution.”

In his message for the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, issued on May 10, the pope urged seniors not to despair at their frailty but to embrace “a new mission” of caring for others in a world torn apart by conflict.

“Old age is no time to give up and lower the sails, but a season of enduring fruitfulness: a new mission awaits us and bids us look to the future,” he wrote in the 1,600-word message, dated May 3.

“‘The special sensibility that those of us who are elderly have for the concerns, thoughts, and the affections that make us human should once again become the vocation of many. It would be a sign of our love for the younger generations.'”

“This would be our own contribution to the revolution of tenderness, a spiritual and non-violent revolution in which I encourage you, dear grandparents and elderly persons, to take an active role.”

Pope Francis established the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly in 2021. The day takes place annually on the fourth Sunday of July, on or close to the July 26 Feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim, the grandparents of Jesus. This year, it will be celebrated on July 24.

The Vatican unveiled the theme for the second celebration of the day in February, taken from Psalm 92:15: “In old age they will still bear fruit.”

The theme “intends to emphasize how grandparents and the elderly are a value and a gift both for society and for ecclesial communities,” the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life said.

The dicastery’s prefect, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, was due to present the pope’s message at a Vatican press conference on May 10.

The 85-year-old pope has highlighted the importance of care and respect for the elderly since his election in 2013.

In February, he launched a new general audience catechetical cycle devoted to old age.

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