July 26 is the feast of Sts. Joachim and Ann, the parents of the Virgin Mary, and thus Jesus’ grandparents.
In many parts of the world, Grandparents’ Day is celebrated today. Aleteia invites you to take a moment to celebrate your own grandparents today as well — if they are still with us on earth, make sure to reach out today.
“[T]alk to your grandparents. Because if you want to be hope for the future, you have to receive the torch from your grandfather and your grandmother. … If your grandparents are already in heaven, will you talk with the elderly? Are you going to ask them questions? Ask them. They are the wisdom of a people.” Pope Francis, July 31, 2016
Consider these articles as extra motivation:
The pope is always speaking about the importance of the elderly. Just consider some of the things he says they can offer us (even if they can no longer speak or if they are affected by dementia):
- The elderly, grandparents have the ability to understand the most difficult of situations
- Their prayer is strong; it is powerful
- The elderly pass on history, doctrine, faith and they leave them to us as an inheritance. They are like a fine vintage wine; that is, they have within themselves the power to give us this noble inheritance
How important grandparents are for family life, for passing on the human and religious heritage so essential for each and every society!— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) July 26, 2017
If your grandparents have already gone to meet the Lord, don’t forget to say a prayer for their souls and for the souls of all those who have passed on to eternity. You can find out more about why to do this here, and how to do it here.
And don’t just stop with your own grandparents. Share a caress from Jesus by reaching out to an elderly neighbor or the parents of an old high school or college friend. The elderly are among the most vulnerable in our “throw-away” culture that Pope Francis so laments.
“[T]he ‘culture of waste’ has become established; grandparents are thrown away and young people are thrown away. And we must say ‘no’ to this ‘culture of waste.’” Pope Francis, Sept. 22, 2013
Read a first-person account of this sad phenomenon here: ‘Scared’ 90-year-old prays for some company in heartbreaking letter
Her account is contrasted with the perspective from the other side, with the joy that comes from a doting granddaughter: When Alzheimer’s brings darkness, love lights the way
Sts. Joachim and Ann, pray for us and for all the elderly today. Intercede with God to put an end to the growing push for euthanasia across the world.
Jesus, teach us to love and respect our grandparents as you did! Amen.