Yesterday, Our Lady called on us to imitate the lives of the Saints, those in heaven who walked the path of holiness. She mentioned St James. She probably had her mother and father in mind as well.
The goodness of parents is the closest and best example of saintly virtue, because of their love and the many sacrifices they make for their children. Sometimes it is only when they are gone, or when we are blessed with children of our own, that we truly begin to understand this.
Like the Blessed Saints, parents are well used to the daily self-denials which Our Lady invites us to make to come closer to holiness. The life of love and sainthood begins in the family.
• The photograph by André Maier based on a painting by Francesco Zurbarán, depicts St Anne and St Joachim, with Jesus, Mary, Joseph and John the Baptist.