|Detail from Anna and Joachim at the Golden Gate by Giotto|
Yes, Jesus had grandparents! An ancient tradition names Mary's parents Anna and Joachim, both saints on the church calendar. They are the subjects of some beautiful art, like the detail above from a larger painting by Giotto. We don't often see paintings of saints kissing but here's one great example! July 26 is the feast of Anna and Joachim, patron saints of grandparents - and thus our pause for prayer today...
My dad's parents were my Ma and Pa,
my mom's were Memere and Pepere to me...
I remember them, Lord, so very well:
their faces, their eyes and their laughter,
the clothes they wore and the way they smelled...
I remember the food I ate in their homes,
the places I played in, upstairs and down...
I remember them praying at home and at church
- and wondering why they prayed so much...
I remember the quarters, nickels and dimes,
treasures they'd press in my hand with a kiss...
Though I never remember them being young,
I remember them getting and growing old...
I remember the whispers about their health:
"It won't be much longer now..."
I remember their deaths and losing them
to the peace I prayed would always be theirs...
The empty places they left behind
(a recliner, rockers and a chair on the porch)
were a lesson in the words we often prayed,
"now and at the hour of our death. Amen."
They're with you now, I pray, O Lord,
on this feast day of Anna and Joachim...
Memere and Pepere, Ma and Pa with -
what did you call your grandparents, Lord?
Savta and Saba - or Bubbe and Zayde?
Please tell them I miss them
and love them still
and pray one day to see them again...
Keep them close to your heart, Lord,
with grandparents all, living and gone:
Grammas and Grampas,
Nonnas and Poppas,
Memaws and Pepaws,
Nannas and PopPops,
YaYas and Papous,
Omas and Opas,
Titas and Titos,
or __________ and __________
Bless our grandparents, Lord,
and hold them close
in your love, your grace,
your mercy and your peace...
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