The 18: Pope institutes Grandparents Day

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FILE — In this Sept. 20, 2020 file photo, Pope Francis delivers his blessing as he recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter’s Square, at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(WETM)- Pope Francis () instituted a “world day for grandparents and the elderly” in the Roman Catholic Church to be marked once a year to honor them and to underscore their importance to society. 

The pope, making the surprise announcement at his sunday noon address, said it would be marked on the fourth sunday of july each year in catholic communities around the world. 

The catholic church already has a world day of peace, a world day of youth, and a world day of the poor. 

The worldwide church holds special events and religious services on those days to draw attention to the needs and attributes of the groups. 

Francis has often called on society to cherish the elderly as a source of wisdom and experience and he has lamented a “throwaway culture” that puts them aside because they are no longer productive. 

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