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JULY 2021


                                                   (25 July 2021)

                                                                        Fourth Sunday of

                                                                      July 2021, World Day

                                                                           for Grandparents

                                                                              and the Elderly

                   “I am with you always”

        Dear Grandfathers and Grandmothers,                    a time of trial for everyone, but especially for us
        Dear Elderly Friends,                                  elderly persons. Many of us fell ill, others died or
                                                               experienced the death of spouses or loved ones,
        “I  am  with  you  always”  (Mt  28:20):  this  is  the
        promise the Lord made to his disciples before he       while others found themselves isolated and alone
        ascended into heaven. They are the words that he       for long periods.
        repeats to you today, dear grandfathers and grand-     The Lord is aware of all that we have been through
        mothers, dear elderly friends.  “I am with you al-     this time. He is close to those who felt isolated and
        ways” are also the words that I, as Bishop of Rome     alone, feelings that became more acute during the
        and an elderly person like yourselves, would like      pandemic. Tradition has it that Saint Joachim, the
        to address to you on this first World Day of Grand-    grandfather  of  Jesus,  felt  estranged  from  those
        parents and the Elderly. The whole Church is close     around him because he had no children; his life,
        to you – to us – and cares about you, loves you and    like that of his wife Anne, was considered useless.
        does not want to leave you alone!                      So the Lord sent an angel to console him. While he
                                                               mused sadly outside the city gates, a messenger
        I am well aware that this Message comes to you at
                                                               from the Lord appeared to him and said, “Joachim,
        a difficult time: the pandemic swept down on us
                                                               Joachim!  The  Lord  has  heard  your  insistent
        like an unexpected and furious storm; it has been
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