A decree issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary on May 30 said that the indulgence for the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is available “to the faithful who devote adequate time to visit, in presence or virtually, through the media, their elderly brothers and sisters in need or in difficulty.” The plenary indulgence can also be obtained by attending a solemn commemoration of the annual event by Pope Francis or related celebrations around the world.
Since Pope Francis has said that plenary indulgences can be granted by visiting the elderly either in-person or virtually, this means that a simple phone call can grant you forgiveness from sins, and make beloved grandparents and elderly loved ones smile.
Like Anne and Joachim, grandparents and the elderly sometimes despair of the trials of old age. But faith brought Anne and Joachim the joy of becoming the parents of the Queen of Heaven, which is more than they could have expected. This miracle from God is a reason to honor the faith and perseverance of the elderly on July 24 this year.
Sometimes, elderly people feel despair over the idea that they have become physically frail and unable to do what they once were able to do. In a message, Pope Francis explained that elderly people should not worry or despair, but realize that they have a “new mission” to care for others.
“A long life — so the Bible teaches — is a blessing, and the elderly are not outcasts to be shunned but living signs of the goodness of God who bestows life in abundance.” Pope Francis said.
You can hear the pope’s reflections about the elderly in the video below.
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