Plenary Indulgences for Grandparents

On Occasion of First World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly

Pope Francis will grant plenary indulgences on the First World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, to grandparents, the elderly, and all the faithful who participate “motivated by a true spirit of penance and charity.”

The Pope released his message for the event on June 22, 2021; the world day is July 25, 2021.

Pope Francis announced that he would establish the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly during his remarks at the Sunday Angelus on January 31, 2021:

“This is why, I have decided to establish World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will be held throughout the Church every year on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ “grandparents”. It is important for grandparents to meet their grandchildren and for grandchildren to meet their grandparents, because — as the prophet Joel says — grandparents, before their grandchildren, will dream, and have illusions [great desires], and young people, taking strength from their grandparents, will go forward and prophesy. And 2 February is indeed the feast of the encounter between grandparents and their grandchildren.”

Following is the decree establishing the plenary indulgences”:

The Apostolic Penitentiary, in order to increase the devotion of the faithful and for the salvation of souls, by virtue of the faculties attributed to it by the Supreme Pontiff Pope Francis by Divine Providence, listening to the recent request presented by the Most Eminent Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Kevin Joseph Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, on the occasion of the First World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, recently instituted by the Supreme Pontiff on the fourth Sunday of the month of July, graciously grants the Plenary Indulgence from the heavenly treasures of the Church, under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to grandparents, the elderly and all the faithful who, motivated by a true spirit of penance and charity, will participate on 25 July 2021, on the occasion of the First World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, in the solemn celebration that the Most Holy Father Francis will preside over in the Vatican Papal Basilica or at the various functions that will be held throughout the world, who may also apply it as suffrage for the souls in Purgatory.

This Court of Mercy also grants the Plenary Indulgence on this same day to the faithful who devote adequate time to actually or virtually visiting their elderly brothers and sisters in need or in difficulty (such as the sick, the abandoned, the disabled, and other similar cases).

The Plenary Indulgence may also be granted to, provided that they detach themselves from any sins and intend to fulfill the three usual conditions as soon as possible, the elderly sick and all those who, unable to leave their homes for a serious reason, will unite themselves spiritually to the sacred functions of the World Day, offering to the Merciful God their prayers, pains or sufferings of their lives, especially during the transmission, through the means of television and radio, but also through the new means of social communication the words of the Supreme Pontiff and the celebrations.

Therefore, in order to facilitate access to divine forgiveness through the Keys of the Church, out of pastoral charity, this Penitentiary earnestly requests priests, equipped with the appropriate faculties to hear confessions, to make themselves available, in a ready and generous spirit, for the celebration of Penance.

This Decree is valid for the First World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary.

Given at Rome, at the See of the Apostolic Penitentiary, on 13 May, on the Ascension of the Lord, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 2021.

Major Penitentiary