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Grandparents’ day

Saint Anne, Saint Joachim and the Virgin Mary. XVII century. Carmen Basilic. Jerez de la Frontera.


Today, 26th july we celebrate the grandparents’ day in Spain, date on which we commemorate Saint Joachim and Saint Anne too, the parents of the Virgin Mary, therefore, maternal grandparents of Jesus, considered the “patron saints of grandparents.”

This festivity isn’t celebrated on the same date worldwide, but in Portugal, Brazil, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama and Venezuela. In Spain, it was promoted by the NGO Messengers of Peace in 1998.

Globally, on October 1th is the International Day of Older Persons. The date was promoted by the UN with the aim of raising awareness against discrimination of the elderly, drawing attention to negative stereotypes and misconceptions about aging.

Saint Joachim and Saint Anne

Regarding the Virgin Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna, there isn’t much information in the biblical texts about them, the information that is known is based on the apocryphal gospels, not accepted by the Church within its canonical books.

According to Catholic and Orthodox tradition, Jesus’ paternal grandfathers, Saint Joachim or Yəhoyaqim in Hebrew (“Yahweh will build”), was a native of Nazareth and his parents were Matat and Estha.

And from the life of Anna or Hannah in Hebrew (beneficent, compassionate, full of grace), it is known that she was a native of Bethlehem and her parents were Matthan and Emerenciana. What is certainly known is that Anna was descended from the very important lineage of King David and Levi.


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