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Rome Reports

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His father persecuted Christians, now he is speaking at 10th World Meeting of Families

Maria and Álvaro are one of the many couples participating in the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome. They gave a talk on the role of grandparents in transmitting the faith. They told the story of one of their grandchildren, who asked to be baptized so that God would listen to him more as he prayed for his mother's recovery from an illness.

My grandson Victor, the one that I used as an example earlier, came to our home from time to time, and he was there when we prayed and blessed the table before a meal. He was not baptized.

Little by little, we as grandparents transmit that little seed of faith and then the time comes and it helps them. I believe that grandparents do so much in spreading the faith. 

Maria's husband, Álvaro, also has a very interesting story. His father participated in the Spanish Civil War in the persecution against the Catholic Church. Álvaro's father never told him exactly what he did, but he was in jail for six years for his participation in the war.
When Álvaro was only six months old, he contracted a very bad case of pneumonia. After his father had given up hope for a cure, he asked God to heal his son. And Álvaro was cured.

Álvaro's inexplicable recovery converted his father, who was then rejected by his anti-clerical friends after trying to explain what had happened. After his conversion, he tried to teach his children about the faith, but Álvaro and his siblings were not interested and took their own paths to finding the truth. 

I went to the Evangelical Church; I was with the Jehovah's Witnesses; I was studying the Koran...Until one day, for no apparent reason, I felt a great desire for God. There was a lot of confusion because, as I didn't go to church, I had to call to ask for an appointment for confession...Imagine the mess!

How could I have imagined that one day I would come to Rome to tell my father's story? My God!

Álvaro has a very simple recipe for passing on the faith to his grandchildren.

When the Lord gives us a long life, which is a gift, not a punishment, you have many occasions throughout life to realize that the Lord is always with you along the way.

And when you get to old age, that great faith creates a generous love within you. What can grandparents do with it? Let it out.

Álvaro and Maria will spend a few more days in Rome. Since they have already shared their story, it's now their turn to listen to the rest of the testimonies that will be given at the 10th World Meeting of Families.