The second World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and Elders is an opportunity to convey the closeness of the Church in celebrating with joy those who have been gifted with a life ‘filled with days’ as the Bible says. We are all invited to visit the elderly who are most alone at home or in rest homes where they are guests. Let us make sure that no one lives this day in loneliness.
"In old age they will still bear fruit" (Ps 92:15). These words of the Psalmist are glad tidings, a true “gospel” that we can proclaim to all on this second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. They run counter to what the world thinks about this stage of life, but also to the attitude of grim resignation shown by some of us elderly people, who harbour few expectations for the future.
The fast pace of the world – with which we struggle to keep up – seems to leave us no alternative but to implicitly accept the idea that we are useless. We can resonate with the heartfelt prayer of the Psalmist: “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent” (71:9).
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. “Let us too become, as it were, poets of prayer: let us develop a taste for finding our own words, let us once again take up those taught by the word of God.”
Read the complete message from Pope Francis HERE
A Prayer for Grandparents and the elderly
I give thanks to you, Lord,
For the blessing of a long life
For, to those who take refuge in You,
Grant always to bear fruit.
Forgive, O Lord,
Resignation and disillusionment,
But forsake me not
When my strength declines.
Teach me to look with hope
To the future you give me,
To the mission you entrust to me
And to sing your praises without end.
Make me a tender craftsman
Of Your revolution,
To guard with love my grandchildren
And all the little ones who seek shelter in You.
Protect, O Lord, Pope Francis
And grant Thy Church
To deliver the world from loneliness.
Direct our steps in the way of peace.
Download a pdf copy HERE
Pastoral guidelines for parishes HERE