Grandparents: what a gift! Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Jul. 30, 2009 -- 12:00 AM

editor's viewIf there would be a feastday for grandparents, it would probably be July 26. That is the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of our Blessed Mother.

As a new grandparent myself with two granddaughters born last year, I was happy to hear Pope Benedict XVI mention the importance of grandparents July 26 during his Sunday Angelus talk in the mountains of Italy, where he is vacationing.

Witnesses of values

The pope referred to Sts. Joachim and Anne, “the parents of the mother of God and, therefore, the grandparents of Jesus.”
This feast, said the pope, “invites us to pray for grandparents, who are the depositories and often witnesses of the basic values of life within the family.

“The educational role of grandparents is always very important,” he emphasized, especially in situations where one or both parents are frequently absent.

Important role today

We don’t know much about the lives of Sts. Joachim and Anne. But we do know them through their daughter, Mary. They nurtured her, raised her, and taught her to respond to God in faith with her “yes” to be the Mother of the Savior. They must also have given her an example of courage and strength to stand by the cross as her son — their grandson — was crucified (Catholic Online,

Sts. Joachim and Anne should provide good role models for us, especially since the role of grandparents is even more important today. Our culture brings many challenges for parents. They need help from grandparents in passing along religious and moral values to their children.

Grandparents are a gift

Grandparents are truly a gift to their families, society, and the Church. We should thank and pray for all grandparents and welcome their involvement in our families. They have so much wisdom and love to give.

In turn, I encourage grandparents to be involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren. We should not be overbearing, yet we should also be willing to stand up for our beliefs and values in a loving way. We should set an example for our children and grandchildren by what we say, what we do, and how we do it.