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Pope lauds value of grandparents, stresses family's role in forming faith

Catholic World News - July 26, 2013

Pope Francis spoke about the importance of strong family ties, and of support for both the young and the old, during a midday Angelus audience in Rio de Janeiro on July 26.

Noting that the day was the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Father spoke about the importance of a loving home, especially in building up the faith. The day’s saints, he said, were “part of a long chain of people who had transmitted their love for God, expressed in the warmth and love of family life, down to Mary, who received the Son of God in her womb and who gave him to the world, to us.”

Reminding his audience that the feast day is celebrated as Grandparents Day in Brazil and other countries, the Pope went on to speak about the wisdom that elderly people can share with the young. He quoted from the Aparecida document, in which the Latin American bishops called for a new burst of evangelization on the continent: “Children and the elderly build the future of peoples: children because they lead history forward, the elderly because they transmit the experience and wisdom of their live.”

Earlier in the day, the Pope had heard the Confessions of 5 young people, in the park in Rio where—on land once owned by the Jesuit order—WYD organizers had set up dozens of confessional stands at which young people could receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, with priests available to hear confessions in multiple languages.

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