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The Second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly 
"In old age they will still bear fruit" (Psalm 92:15)

Last year Pope Francis decided to institute a Church-wide celebration of a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. He declared it will be held on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus.

This year the Second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly falls on Sunday 24th July. There are many ways we can celebrate this special day, in our homes and parishes. We will give you some ideas to get you started here on our Grandparents and the Elderly page.  

Cardinal Vincent Nichols last year encouraged us, in a short video message that young people should talk to their grandparents if they want to be a sign of hope for the world, re-watch this here.

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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.

Pope Francis

Ways we can celebrate:

Sunday Mass: Invite your grandchildren and family to attend with you, a wonderful way to start the day's celebration.

Prayer: Take time to pray as a family and individually, giving thanks for our grandparents and elderly that we know of. Find some prayer resources below.

Family Dinner: Make time for a family dinner over the weekend where every member and generation of the family are invited.  

Parish PicnicAfter the Mass on the Sunday, bring the families and elderly parishioners together for a picnic in the parish garden or in the local park if there is one close by. Maybe the young people can help serve. 


Visit the elderly: Visit one of your elderly relatives or someone in the parish who doesn't have family nearby.  

We grandparents and elderly people have a great responsibility: to teach the women and men of our time to regard others with the same understanding and loving gaze with which we regard our own grandchildren. We ourselves have grown in humanity by caring for others, and now we can be teachers of a way of life that is peaceful and attentive to those in greatest need.

Pope Francis

Catholic Grandparents Association

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To be a grandparent is a very special role in the Church.
As you love your Grandchildren, love them enough to give them the gift of faith, by sharing your faith with them.


For more information on the Catholic Grandparents Association
of England & Wales, please visit their website here:


Dear grandparents, dear elderly persons, we are called to be artisans of the revolution of tenderness in our world! Let us do so by learning to make ever more frequent and better use of the most valuable instrument at our disposal and, indeed, the one best suited to our age: prayer.

Pope Francis


Pope Francis' message for the 2nd World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly 

Pope Benedict XVI Prayer for Grandparents 

Lord Jesus,
you were born of the Virgin Mary.
the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them! They are a source of enrichment for families, for the Church and for all of society.
Support them as they grow older.
May they continue to be for their families strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardians of noble domestic ideals, living treasuries of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on to future generations the fruits of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Lord Jesus,
help families and society to value the presence and role of grandparents.
May they never be ignored or excluded, but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed in all the years of life which you give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living,
keep grandparents constantly in your care, accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity for the great embrace of life without end.


Reflection on Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, the Grandparents of Jesus

Prayer Cards 

Download and print the Prayer Cards here. 

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