26 JUL 2009 (VIS) -
This morning Benedict XVI prayed the Angelus with faithful gathered near his chalet at Les Combes in the Italian region of Valle d'Aosta where he is spending a holiday.
Before the Marian prayer, the Holy Father thanked God for "the joy of these
days when 1 was truly able to relax, despite the accident of which you are well
aware", he added referring to the fall in which he broke his right wrist.
The Pontiff then spoke of today's Gospel in which St. John describes the
multiplication of the loaves and fishes. "It is", he said, "as if the Eucharist were
anticipated in the great sign of the bread of life. In this Year for Priests, we
members of the clergy may see ourselves reflected in this text of John's,
identifying ourselves with the Apostles when they say: where are we going to find bread for these people to eat? And when we read of that anonymous boy
with his five barley loaves and two fish, we too are moved to exclaim: But what
are they among so many people? In other words, who am I? How can I with my
limitations help Jesus in His mission? And it is the Lord Who provides the
answer: By putting in his 'saintly and venerable' hands the little they are, priests
become instruments of salvation for many people, for everyone!"
The Pope then went on to mention Sts. Joachim and Anna, parents of the
Virgin and, hence, grandparents of Jesus, whose feast day falls today.
Emphasising the vital importance of education in Church pastoral care, Benedict
XVI invited people "to pray for grandparents who, in families, are the
depositories and often witnesses of. the fundamental values of life."The educational role of grandparents is always important, and it becomes
even more important when, for various reasons, parents are unable to ensure
an adequate presence alongside their children as they are growing", the Pope added, entrusting all the grandparents of the world to the protection of Sts. Joachim and Anna. Finally, following the Angelus prayer, he also mentioned "all
elderly people, especially those who are alone or experiencing moments of
difficulty".ANG/PRIESTS GRANDPARENTS/... VIS 090727 (380)