Vatican grants indulgences for Day for Grandparents and Elderly
By Christopher Wells
In a decree published on Monday, the Apostolic Penitentiary – the Vatican tribunal responsible for issues relating to mercy and the forgiveness of sins in the Church – announced several grants of indulgences for those taking part in the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which this year falls on Sunday 24 July.
A plenary indulgence, which may also be obtained in suffrage for the souls in Purgatory, is granted:
- to grandparents, the elderly, and the faithful who, motivated by a true spirit of penance and charity, will participate on July 24th in the solemn celebration that Pope Francis will preside over in the Vatican, or in the various functions that take place throughout the world;
- to the faithful who, on the same day, devote adequate time to visit, in person or virtually through the media, their disabled brothers and sisters in need or in difficulty (such as the sick, the abandoned, or the disabled
- to the sick elderly and to all those who, unable to leave their homes for a serious reason, will unite spiritually with the sacred services of the World Day, offering to the Merciful God their prayers, the pains and sufferings of their lives, especially while the words of the Supreme Pontiff and the various celebrations are broadcast through the media
The grants of indulgence, “from the heavenly treasures of the Church,” are made under the usual conditions of sacramental Confession, Eucharistic confession, and prayers for the intentions of the Pope.
In the decree announcing the indulgences, the Apostolic Penitentiary also “firmly requests” priests to make themselves available, “with a ready and generous spirit,” to hear confessions so that “this opportunity to attain divine grace through the power of the Keys of the Church may be more easily realised through pastoral charity.”
Pope Francis established the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly in 2021, setting its observance for the fourth Sunday in July, the Sunday nearest the feast of Sts Anne and Joachim, grandparents of Jesus.