Around 6,000 people are expected to attend the 2nd national Grandparents Pilgrimage taking place in Knock Shrine next Sunday (Sept 14). Grandparents hold a very important role within family life. Grand parents often speak about a freedom to indulge love and affection to their grandchild, that may have been more restrictive when rearing their own family. Often Grandparents enjoy the time perhaps without the stress, in building a loving relationship with their grandchildren.

Pope Benedict XVI supports and encourages the important role of Grandparents in our present culture, and sees an important responsibility in their role as communicating values and morality that continue to be relevant to all generations. Pope Benedict has commissioned a special prayer for this event, which will be read aloud for the first time next Sunday. The organizer and indeed brain child of this great gathering is Catherine Wiley. Catherine is a native of Mayo, a Mother and Grandmother who passionately believes the important and necessary role, of the Christian family in the modern world. Mrs. Wiley, a grandmother of 10 children said: Many Grandparents may feel that they are taken for granted, this pilgrimage seeks to put this right, and also to honour them for their role in helping to pass on the Catholic faith from generation to generation,. Grandparents are a strength, a treasure, and vitally important to the wellbeing happiness to society as a whole. This pilgrimage will also honour St. Joachim and St. Anne, the grandparents of Jesus. Pilgrims will travel from all over Ireland to take part in this event. Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam also underlined the important role that Grandparents play in the life of the Church Grandparents have an important role in passing on tradition, culture and most of all the Christian faith to countless generations of people. Children unconditionally love and value the very unique relationship that comes from a grandparent. May the good Lord bless all our Grandparents alive and those who have gone before us.

The following is a poem entitled Grandparents

Grandparents bestow upon their grandchildren the strength and wisdom that time and wisdom have given them.Grandchildren bless their grandparents with a youthful vitality and innocence that help them stay young at heart forever.Together they create a chain of love linking the past with the future. The chain may lengthen but it will never part.