Pope Thanks Grandparents on Feast of Mary
Joachim and Anne Asked to Intercede for Families
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ROME, JULY 26, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is joining with the faithful celebrating Grandparents' Day today, the feast of Jesus' grandparents: Joachim and Anne.
At a celebration in Jaen, Spain, a papal message was read after a Mass celebrated by Bishop Ramón del Hoyo López.
The Holy Father's message and blessing were sent by Archbishop Renzo Fratini, the apostolic nuncio in Spain.
The Grandparents' Day celebration was organized by the Golden Age: Messengers of Peace Association. The papal message was addressed to the president of that group, Father Ángel García Rodríguez.
"The Holy Father, appreciating the religious, spiritual, human and social wealth of grandparents, is happy to join in this gesture of affection and gratitude to them and encourages them to persevere in the faith, giving meaning with the light of Christ the Lord to all the moments of their lives."
The message ends with the prayer that the Lord will help grandparents "with his providence and mercy" and imploring for them "the protection of the holy grandparents Joachim and Anne, and of their daughter, the glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ Our Lord."
The Parish of St. Anne in the Diocese of Rome also marked the feast.
Cardinal Angelo Comastri, president of the Vatican office that oversees construction matters related to St. Peter's, presided over a Mass there in which he emphasized the importance of the family.
He also read a prayer that he himself had composed.
Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, also celebrated a Mass at the church.
The faithful asked St. Anne to intercede for grandparents, so that they will be able to offer everyone the testimony of an exemplary life in their irreplaceable moral and spiritual task with children and adolescents.