World

Pope now focuses on grandparents after celebrating newlyweds in run-up to big family meeting

  • Pope Francis, top center beneath a baldachin, weds twenty couples in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Forty "I do's", or "Si" in Italian, were pronounced in St. Peter's Basilica Sunday as Pope Francis married 20 couples, with one bride already a mother. Francis in his homily likened families to the "bricks that build society." (AP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)

    Pope Francis, top center beneath a baldachin, weds twenty couples in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Forty "I do's", or "Si" in Italian, were pronounced in St. Peter's Basilica Sunday as Pope Francis married 20 couples, with one bride already a mother. Francis in his homily likened families to the "bricks that build society." (AP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Joseph Chaput speaks at a press conference at the Vatican, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, to present the 8th 2015 World Meeting of Families to be held in Philadelphia, PA, from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27, 2015. Francis and 100 elderly priests will celebrate a Mass in St. Peter's Square on Sept. 28 in honor of the elderly, part of his long-standing belief that old people shouldn't be shut away in retirement homes but should be actively cherished for their wisdom. The Mass for grandparents, and the group wedding that Francis celebrated last weekend, are aimed at focusing attention on family life ahead of a major two-year church study on family issues starting Oct. 5. At bottom the official icon of the meeting, a painting by artist Neilson Carlin of Kennett Square depicts Jesus as a toddler, with Mary and Joseph and Mary's parents, Anna and Joachim. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

    Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Joseph Chaput speaks at a press conference at the Vatican, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, to present the 8th 2015 World Meeting of Families to be held in Philadelphia, PA, from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27, 2015. Francis and 100 elderly priests will celebrate a Mass in St. Peter's Square on Sept. 28 in honor of the elderly, part of his long-standing belief that old people shouldn't be shut away in retirement homes but should be actively cherished for their wisdom. The Mass for grandparents, and the group wedding that Francis celebrated last weekend, are aimed at focusing attention on family life ahead of a major two-year church study on family issues starting Oct. 5. At bottom the official icon of the meeting, a painting by artist Neilson Carlin of Kennett Square depicts Jesus as a toddler, with Mary and Joseph and Mary's parents, Anna and Joachim. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for Families, speaks at a press conference at the Vatican, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, to present the 8th 2015 World Meeting of Families to be held in Philadelphia, PA, from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27, 2015. Francis and 100 elderly priests will celebrate a Mass in St. Peter's Square on Sept. 28 in honor of the elderly, part of his long-standing belief that old people shouldn't be shut away in retirement homes but should be actively cherished for their wisdom. The Mass for grandparents, and the group wedding that Francis celebrated last weekend, are aimed at focusing attention on family life ahead of a major two-year church study on family issues starting Oct. 5. At bottom the official icon of the meeting, a painting by artist Neilson Carlin of Kennett Square depicts Jesus as a toddler, with Mary and Joseph and Mary's parents, Anna and Joachim. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

    Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for Families, speaks at a press conference at the Vatican, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, to present the 8th 2015 World Meeting of Families to be held in Philadelphia, PA, from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27, 2015. Francis and 100 elderly priests will celebrate a Mass in St. Peter's Square on Sept. 28 in honor of the elderly, part of his long-standing belief that old people shouldn't be shut away in retirement homes but should be actively cherished for their wisdom. The Mass for grandparents, and the group wedding that Francis celebrated last weekend, are aimed at focusing attention on family life ahead of a major two-year church study on family issues starting Oct. 5. At bottom the official icon of the meeting, a painting by artist Neilson Carlin of Kennett Square depicts Jesus as a toddler, with Mary and Joseph and Mary's parents, Anna and Joachim. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)  (The Associated Press)

First, Pope Francis married 20 couples to highlight the role of families as the heart of the Catholic Church. Next up is a special Mass for grandparents.

Francis and 100 elderly priests will celebrate a Mass in St. Peter's Square on Sept. 28 in honor of the elderly, part of his long-standing belief that old people shouldn't be shut away in retirement homes but should be cherished for their wisdom and experience.

Vatican officials said Tuesday that one of the couples taking part in the Mass recently fled the Islamic militant crackdown in northern Iraq.

The Mass for grandparents, and the group wedding that Francis celebrated last weekend, are aimed at focusing attention on family life ahead of a major two-year church study on family issues starting Oct. 5.