JOACHIM also called Heli, the happy father of Mary, came of the royal line of David, and was from his youth brought up in piety and the fear of God. His married life with the pious aud chaste Ann was childless until they had reached a great age. His continual prayer and other good works were theu rewarded by God with that blessed child whose birth was the beginning of our salvation. He reared her in the fear of the Lord, offered her in her tenderest years to God in the temple at Jerusalem, and soon after gave up his spirit into the hands of his Creator. Oh, that all Christian parents might learn from the parents of Mary to train up their children, not for the world, but for God, from Whom they have received them, and Who will one day require them again from their hands!
O God, Who wast pleased that, before all Thy saints, blessed Joachim should be the father of her who bore Thy Son, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may ever experience his patronage whose festival we celebrate. Through the same Jesus Christ, Amen.
Epistle: Ecclesiasticus 31:8-11
Blessed is the man that is found without blemish, and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures. Who is he and we will praise him, for he hath done wonderful things in his life. Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting. He that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed, could do evil things, and hath not done them; therefore are his goods established in the Lord.
Gospel: Matthew 1:1-16
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob, begot Judas and his brethren. And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar. And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram. And Aram begot Aminadab. And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Nasson begot Salmon. And Salmon begot Booz of Rahab. And Booz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse. And Jesse begot David the king. And David the king begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Unag. And Solomon begot Roboam. And Roboam begot Abias. And Abias begot Asa. And Asa begot Josaphat. And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias. And Ozias begot Joatham. And Joatham begot Achaz. And Achaz begot Ezechias. And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manasses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias. And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon. And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel. And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor. And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud. And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
O blessed and happy pair, Joachim and Anne, to whom the Almighty gave for a daughter the immaculate Virgin, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a grace which is a speaking evidence of your purity, and of your lives being perfectly ordered according to the will of God - oh, obtain for me grace, that I may serve God chastely. Procure also for an Christian parents the help of the Almighty, that they may bring up their children in piety, and thereby become worthy to partake of your happiness. Amen.
At the Introit of the Mass the Church sings:
"Let us all rejoice in the Lord, keeping festival in honor of Saint Ann, on whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and with one voice praise the Son of God. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King."
O God, Who wast pleased to confer upon Saint Ann the grace whereby she became the mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that we, who keep her festival, may, through her intercession, find help with Thee. Through the same Our Lord Jesus Christ, etc. Amen.
Epistle: Proverbs 31:10-31
Who shall find a valiant woman? the price of her is as of things brought from afar off and from the uttermost coasts. The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils. She will render him good; and not evil, all the days of her life. She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands. She is like the merchant's ship, she bringeth her bread from afar. And she hath risen in the night, and given a prey to her household, and victuals to her maidens. She hath considered a field, and bought it with the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard. She hath girded her loins with strength, and hath strengthened her arm. She hath tasted, and seen that her traffic is good; her lamp shall not be put out in the night. She hath put out her hand to strong things, and her fingers have taken hold of the spindle. She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hand to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow; for all her domestics are clothed with double garments. She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry, fine linen, and purple is her covering. Her husband is honorable in the gates, when he sitteth among the senators of the land. She made fine linen, and sold it, and delivered a girdle to the Chananite. Strength and beauty are her clothing, and she shall laugh in the latter day. She hath opened her mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency is on her tongue. She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle, Her children rose up, and called her blessed; her husband, and he praised her. Many daughters have gathered together riches; thou hast surpassed them alL Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her in the gates.
Gospel: Matthew 13:44-52
At that time Jesus said to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hideth and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had fouud one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have ye understood all these things? They say to Him: Yes. He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.
The hidden treasure is faith in the Crucified, Who remains concealed from the wise of this world by reason of their pride; the hiding of the treasure denotes that faith is to be preserved only by humility; the selling of all that he hath teaches that, for the sake of the faith, we must sacrifice all things, do all things, suffer all things. The parable of the merchant furnishes the same lesson. By the parable of the net the Lord teaches that the universal visible Church of Christ, the kingdom of God upon earth, contains not only the elect, but those also who shall be condemned - the bad as well as the good. At the end of the world there will be a separation, and the bad shall be cast into everlasting fire.
Aspiration to Saint Anne
Hail, O blessed mother Anne! Blessed art thou, who, for our consolation, didst bear the Mother of our Redeemer. With the greatest, veneration, therefore, and full of confidence, we approach thee, beseeching thee that thou wouldst supplicate our divine Saviour to bestow upon us the graces which we need to follow thy ardent devotion, thy fear of God, and to render us worthy one day to behold in heaven the blessed fruit of thy virgin daughter's womb, Jesus, and to rejoice forever in the contemplation of Him.