On 31st January 2021, Pope Francis announced, after the Sunday Angelus, that the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated on Sunday 25th July, the Sunday nearest the memorial of St. Joachim and Anne (26th July). The voice of the Elderly is precious, Pope Francis said, ‘because it sings the praises of God and preserves the roots of the peoples’. The elderly, the continued, ‘remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link betewwn the different generation, to pass on to the young the experience of life’.
The theme chosen by Pope Francis for this inaugural commemoration is ‘I am with you always’. It expresses the closeness of the Lord and the Church to every older person, especially in these challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The theme, ‘I am with you always’ is also ‘a promise of closeness and hope that young and old can mutually share’, notes the press release. Not only are grandchildren and youths invited to be present in the lives of older people, but older people and grandparents also have a mission pf evangelisation, proclamation and prayer and of encouraging young people in their faith