SS Anne and Joachim are the parents of Mary Mother of God. Their feast day is July 26th. I will be sharing the account of St. Joachim, while Tiffany will be relishing in the account of St. Anne for this month’s installment of Church Triumphant where we pick saints each month to discuss and reflect upon. Because who doesn’t love a good saint story? Especially when you share something personal too?
While not mentioned in the bible, the account of SS Anne and Joachim is noted in the Apocryphal Gospel of James. All that means, is that this book wasn’t considered part of the divine revelation, but the contents can be considered historical although we look at it here as part of legend and tradition in the Catholic faith. In it, Joachim was away from home when an angel visited and told him he would have a child that would be blessed throughout the ages. Joachim, excited, ran home to tell his wife, Anne of his visions to find out that an angel visited her as well and gave the same message. Anne and Joachim, childless, thankful and up to that point, well past their childbearing years, dedicated the child to God. Joachim presented her to the service of the Temple when Mary was just three years old.
St. Joachim is the patron saint of fathers, grandfathers and grandparents. He’s Jesus’ Pop-pop if you think about it. While we shouldn’t get caught up in the concrete (or not) details and facts, what we focus on is why the Church celebrates these two saints. They were the parents of the Immaculate Conception. The womb that held Jesus, “…for us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man…” (A little Nicene Creed action in there).
If we can put ourselves in the shoes of a married couple, trying so hard to conceive, and praying every day that it happens, we can begin to understand the strong bond they had with one another and bring these saints to life for ourselves today. Think of St. Joachim, who probably, like my husband and yours, would want to take St. Anne’s hurt away and fix it. He may have had moments of spiritual dryness because he felt like he wasn’t being heard. Just like you and me though, he was being heard and in God’s time his prayers were answered. Finally, when his child is born, all of the saved up love, dreams and hopes for the child they always wanted was lavished on Mary – and she would need it, being the Mother of God and all. This child was raised with love and care from parents who stayed together, prayed together, loved together and suffered together. I mean, look at this holy kiss after they found out they would conceive? The tenderness there? What a model for our own marriages, child rearing and faith.
SS Anne and Joachim pray for us. Pray that we commit ourselves to His will, keep our marriage strong, our faith even stronger and our children always pointed to Our Lord. Amen people!
Traditionally, shellfish is served on this feast day, particularly Lobster, but yours truly is allergic to all things shell, so we are going for Crème Sainte-Anne (St. Anne’s Cream) which kinda looks like flan, so I’m all over that!
Don’t forget to read the other half of this post over at Life of a Catholic Librarian, where you’ll read all about St. Anne. There’ll be a quiz.