On Sunday, the Roman Catholic Church celebrated the first World Day of Grandparents and Elderly. Pope Francis was supposed to have led the Mass celebration earlier in the day. However, he left the duty to Archbishop, Rino Fisichella since the Pope had had a major intestinal surgery three weeks ago.
The Pope solicited a round of applause from the faithful at St Peter’s Square. He stated from a window overlooking St Peter’s Square, “Grandparents and grandchildren, the elderly and the youth together showed one of the beautiful sides of the Church and showed the alliance between the generations. To celebrate this day, I invite celebration in every community with visits to grandparents and elderly, those who are most alone, to bring them my message, inspired by Jesus: “I am with you every day.””
Pope Francis also said, “If young people and elderly don’t meet and talk, history does not go on, life does not go on. We need to resume this: It is a challenge for our culture. Grandparents have the right to dream while watching young people and young people have the right to prophecy by taking sap from grandparents.”
He also remembered the victims of the flooding in China and gave his blessing to the Tokyo Olympics during the traditional Sunday noon blessing.