Pope Francis established a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly which took place for the first time on Sunday 25 July 2021. The World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated for the fourth time in 2024 on Sunday 28 July – the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Grandparents of Jesus.

The theme chosen by Pope Francis for this year’s celebration is: “Do not cast me off in my old age” (cf. Psalm 71:9).

Grandparents and the elderly are often overlooked, but this day in the Universal Church calendar is a momentous achievement for Grandparents and the elderly and will hopefully reassure them that they are love and that they are needed especially for their role and vocation in passing on their faith to the next generation.

In a move to foster devotion among the faithful, the Apostolic Penitentiary will grant a Plenary Indulgence to Catholics taking part in the upcoming Fourth World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, at the request of Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life.

According to a Decree signed by the Major Penitentiary, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis., the plenary indulgence will be granted to grandparents, the elderly, and all faithful who “motivated by a true spirit of penance and charity” will participate in the various functions to be held for the Day throughout the world. The indulgence is subject to the usual conditions of sacramental Confession, reception of the Eucharist, and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father. It will be valid only for the Fourth World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.

A plenary indulgence offers remission of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven, which can be applied to oneself or to the souls in Purgatory.