Pontiff Defines Grandparents as Key Educators

Offers Blessing as Church Celebrates Mary’s Parents

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INTROD, Italy, JULY 26, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Noting the liturgical feast day of Jesus’ grandparents, Benedict XVI today gave a special greeting and blessing to all the grandparents of the world.

The Pope mentioned grandparents and their role in education when he prayed the midday Angelus with faithful who gathered in Les Combes, where the Holy Father is vacationing until Wednesday.

Today the Church celebrates Sts. Joachim and Anne, Mary’s parents.

«This feast makes us think about the topic of education, which has such an important place in the pastoral work of the Church,» he said. «In particular, it invites us to pray for grandparents, who, in the family, are the depositaries and the witnesses of the fundamental values of life.

«The educational task of grandparents is always very important, and it becomes even more so when, for different reasons, the parents are not able to ensure an adequate presence to their children while they are growing up.»

The Bishop of Rome entrusted «all the grandparents of the world» to the protection of Anne and Joachim, and gave them a special blessing.

«May the Virgin Mary,» he concluded, «who, according to certain beautiful artistic renderings, learned to read sacred Scriptures at the knee of her mother, Anne, help grandparents to always nourish their faith and hope at the font of the Word of God.»

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