Pope Francis on papal flight to Canada Pope Francis on papal flight to Canada 

Pope Francis remembers Grandparents Day on Papal Flight

Aboard Papal Flight for 'Penitential Pilgrimage' to Canada, Pope Francis remembers in a special way the World Day for Grandparents and Elderly celebrated by the Church on Sunday. Before walking to greet journalists in the corridors, the Pope praises grandparents as the roots who must be treasured and bring everything forward.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis, on his papal flight to Canada, has remembered and praised grandparents, as the Church observes on Sunday the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.

The Church observes the World Day each year on the fourth Sunday in July, close to the feast of Jesus' grandparents, Saints Joachim and Anne.

Pope Francis instituted this Day in 2021 since grandparents are often forgotten, but yet "are the link between generations, passing on the experience of life and faith to the young."

We need to go back to grandparents

Pope Francis remembered that Sunday marks the Second World Day for grandparents and elderly, also offering special appreciation for elderly priests and religious.

"It's Grandparents' Day, grandparents, grandmothers, who are the ones who have passed on the history, traditions, habits and many other values.

“Today we need to go back to grandparents, I would say so as a leitmotif in the sense that young people must have contact with their grandparents, go back to them, go back to their roots, not to stay there no, but to take them forward like the tree: which takes strength from the roots and carries it forward in the flowers in the fruit.”

He emphasized how grandparents are responsible for blossoming and maturing future generations and should be respected.

Do not hide elderly religious

"I would also like to remember, as a religious, the old men and women religious, the “grandparents” of consecrated life: please, do not hide them away, they are the wisdom of a religious family; and may the new men and women religious, the novices, have contact with them: they will give us all the life experience that will help us so much to move forward..."

The Pope reminded that each one of us has grandparents, some are gone, others are alive.

"Let us remember them today in a special way, from them we have received so many things: first of all history. Thank you."

Reconciliation and Healing

The Holy Father is on his way to Canada for his 37th Apostolic Journey, marking his 56th country visited.

The Pope is making a penitential pilgrimage to the nation aimed at reconciliation and healing with the country's indigenous peoples.

Each papal flight, the Pope greets journalists aboard, and offers words of thanks for their work.

This trip the Holy Father was accompanied by about 80 journalists from more than 10 countries.

Walking throughout flight to greet journalists

Wishing everyone a good Sunday, the Pope thanked them for their "service" and "company."

The Pope confirmed to Holy See Press Office Director, Matteo Bruni, beside him, his willingness to greet the journalists as usual as he walks along the corridors.

"I think I can make it, we can go," he said.

Penitential Pilgrimage

The Holy Father also noted that a special attention and 'spirit' must be dedicated to this Apostolic Journey given it is a penitential pilgrimage to show closeness to the indigenous who have suffered. 

The Pope invited those gathered to join him in praying the Sunday Angelus prayer.

The Holy Father also expressed delight in seeing Valentina Alazraki, journalist of Mexico's TV channel Televisa.

24 July 2022, 12:34