In his message for the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, Pope Francis told older Catholics that God is close to them and still has plans for their lives. Source: CNS.
“I was called to become the bishop of Rome when I had reached, so to speak, retirement age, and thought I would not be doing anything new,” said the Pope, who is 84 and was elected when he was 76.
“The Lord is always – always – close to us. He is close to us with new possibilities, new ideas, new consolations, but always close to us. You know that the Lord is eternal; he never, ever goes into retirement,” the Pope wrote in his message for the Church’s first celebration of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.
The message was released at the Vatican yesterday in anticipation of the celebration on July 25, the Sunday closest to the feast of Sts Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ grandparents.
Pope Francis’ message, which was distributed in writing and on video, acknowledged how much many older people around the world suffered and continue to suffer physically, emotionally and spiritually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But he also insisted that the Christian call to share the Gospel is as pertinent now for all of them as it ever was.
“Think about it: what is our vocation today, at our age? To preserve our roots, to pass on the faith to the young and to care for the little ones,” he wrote. “Never forget this.”
The Vatican also announced that people who attend a Mass or other celebration for the day, “devote adequate time to actually or virtually visiting their elderly brothers and sisters in need or in difficulty” or join in prayers for the elderly on July 25 can receive a plenary indulgence as long as they fulfill the usual requirements of also going to confession, receiving the Eucharist and praying for the intentions of the Pope.
Pope to grandparents, all elderly people: ‘You are needed’ (By Cindy Wooden, CNS)