The Feast of Grandparents: Celebrating Saints Anne and Joachim
By Ana Borden
One of the overlooked liturgical feast days not celebrated with as much anticipation as St. Patrick or St. Valentine is that of St. Anne and St. Joachim, the parents of Mary and the grandparents of Jesus.
In Spain, Brazil, Honduras and several other Latin American countries, Grandparents’ Day is actually celebrated on this feast day, July 26. The Scriptures do not reveal many details on their lives, but we do know that Jesus’ maternal grandparents lived a life of holiness and devoted to tradition – as evidenced in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s strong character, holiness and devotion to her family.
St. Anne and St. Joachim’s parenting and grandparenting character is an example of the importance to lead by example and influence on the family. Grandparents have a responsibility to keep their family’s traditions alive as well as help and nurture the spiritual, physical and personal needs of their grandchildren and even adult children as they face new life challenges.
The impact that grandparents have on the younger generations is tremendous from not only their presence but sharing their past experiences and perspectives in the hope of keeping their family’s customs and traditions alive for the next generation. As a grandchild, I fondly remember my grandparents and am lucky to still enjoy time with my grandfather. Their stories, perspective wisdom, accomplishments, sense of humor and faith have a daily impact that with time I, too, will share with our children, future grandchildren and onward. What traditions and wisdom has the grandparents in your family passed along?