Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Saints Joachim and Anne


Saints Joachim and Anne- Parents of the Virgin Mary

Feast Day-July 26th

Saint Joachim

Husband of St. Anne and father of the Virgin Mary and grandfather of Jesus Christ. Joachim meaning “Yahweh prepares”.

Patronage

Fathers, grandfathers, grandparents


Representation

Man bringing a lamb to the altar and being turned away by the priest; greeting and/or kissing Saint Anne at the Golden Gate; elderly man carrying a basket of doves and a staff; elderly man with the child Mary.


Saint Anne

Mother of Our Lady. Grandmother of Jesus Christ. Wife of Saint Joachim. Anne meaning “grace” or “gracious one”

Patronage

Against poverty, broom makers, cabinetmakers, Canada, carpenters, childless people, equestrians, France, grandmothers, grandparents, homemakers, horse men, housewives, lace makers, lace workers, lost articles, miners, mothers, diocese of Norwich, Connecticut, old-clothes dealers, poverty, pregnancy, pregnant women, Quebec, Santa Ana Indian Pueblo, riders, seamstresses, stablemen, sterility, Taos New Mexico, turners, women in labor.

Representation

Book, symbol of her careful instruction of Mary; flowering rod; crown; nest of young birds; door; Golden Gate of Jerusalem; book; infant Virgin in crib; Shield has silver border masoned in black, with silver lily on a blue field referring to the girlhood of the Virgin. Often Portrayed As: Woman holding Mary or Jesus in her arms or lap; Woman at her betrothal to Joachim; Mother teaching Mary to read the Bible; Woman greeting Saint Joachim at Golden Gate; woman with a book in her hand.


It was in the home of Joachim and Ann where the Virgin Mary received her training to be the Mother of God. Joachim belonged to the tribe of Judah and the house of David. Tradition tells us that he and his wife came from Galilee. They lived in Nazareth and there the Blessed Mother lived.

Joachim was a prominent and respected man who had no children, having no children was seen as a curse from God in that time. They continued to pray and God answered their prayers when the Virgin Mary was born. She was dedicated to God at a very early age. This was their greatest honour, to be the parent's of Mary, the Mother of God and the Grandparents of Jesus.
It was in the womb of Saint Anne that Mary was immaculately conceived. From the first instant of her life, she was in a state of grace and free from all stain of Original Sin. It was her parents, Anne and Joachim that raised her to be faithful to God's word and remain free of sin. They taught her to love and follow God's word and to know and understand the Scriptures. Three very considerable proofs may be adduced of their ardent love for God: the sanctity of their manners and the purity of their life, which, says St. Jerome, was simple, innocent and upright before God, and irreproachable before men; their great charity for their neighbor which is the just measure of one's love for God, since if we have little for the one, we have little for the other. If charity for our neighbor dwells not in our heart, neither does love of God dwell there: "If any man say I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar" (1 Jn. 4:20). Finally, their love for God led them to deprive themselves of their well beloved Child, their sole glory, treasure, consolation, all their delight.

According to the words of the Son of God, humility is the measure of sanctity (Mt. 18:4). The very eminent sanctity of St. Joachim and St. Anne, then, is conclusive proof that their humility was profound. Moreover, God elevated them to the sublime dignity of father and mother of the Queen of Heaven, and grandparents of the sovereign Monarch of the universe. This is another infallible proof of their wonderful humility, since Divine Majesty exalts only the humble.
When the Angel Gabriel came to her at the Annunciation, Mary knew the prophecies of Jesus' life and death. She knew the full extent of the honour and pain she would experience when she gave her 'fiat.'

The way Mary dealt with crisis and how she cared for Elizabeth when she was pregnant give clues to the influence of her parents.

St. John Damascene, speaking of St. Joachim and St. Anne, writes :

O blessed couple, all the world is indebted to you, for it is by your means that it can offer to its Creator the most excellent gift possible, her who is worthy to be Mother of His only Son. O blessed Joachim, who hast merited to be father of the most holy Mother of God! O worthy womb of Ann, which formed, nourished and produced so holy and marvelous a fruit, which carried within it a living heaven more vast than all the heavens! O blessed breasts, which fed the nurse of Him Who nourishes the world! O miracle of miracles! O most prodigious of all marvels! O blessed Joachim and Ann, who, in living chastely and holily, have produced the treasure of virginity!


God of our fathers, you gave Saints Joachim and Anne the privilege of being the parents of Mary, the mother of your incarnate Son. May their prayers help us to attain the salvation you have promised to your people. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

1 comment:

  1. Ginny:)
    an awesome post, let us hope that many who read this will embrace the Holy example these parents showed in raising Mary as a devoted daughter with a devout love for God.
    There is so much to gain from reading about these most Holy of Saints, may we ALL follow their example....

    Peace of Christ to you ALL

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