National Grandparents’ Day

Every year our Country celebrates “National Grandparents Day” which lands on the first Sunday after Labor Day. Like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we also have a whole day dedicated to celebrate and remember our grandparents both living and deceased.

The Catholic Church also has a special day dedicated to honoring our Grandparents as Pope Francis instituted a “World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly” which is celebrated on the 4th Sunday in July close to the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Grandparents of Jesus. In his talks and writings over the years,

Pope Francis speaks so tenderly and lovingly about grandparents and the elderly, often recounting stories from his own youth. He uses words like “gift” and “treasure” to describe their place in our lives. Pope Francis explains this powerful “gift” and “treasure” that Grandparents have to offer as he states, “It makes no difference, how old you are, whether you still work or not, whether you are alone or have a family, whether you became a grandmother or grandfather at a young age or later, whether you are still independent or need assistance. Because there is no retirement age from the work of proclaiming the Gospel and handing down traditions to your grandchildren. You just need to set out and undertake something new.”

Grandparents and grandchildren have a special connection that is proven to make grandparents live longer, and also make grandchildren more emotionally resilient. Grandparents Day is an opportunity to treasure that connection and spend some quality family time together.

May this day be yet another blessing for grandparents and the elderly and an opportunity for all of us to show them our love and gratitude – gratitude to and for those who are with us as well as to and for those who have gone before us to be with the Lord. Happy Grandparents Day!

—Reflection by Fr. John Poncini


Prayer for Grandparents —Pope Benedict XVI

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.