Sts Joachim and Ann, Grandparents of Jesus

Saint Anne

(P.S. This is a re-post, with some slight revisions, from last year.)

Today is the feast day of Saints Joachim and Ann, grandparents of Jesus and mother of Mary! Since there’s no St. Carol (what a shame!), and my middle name is Ann, I’ve taken St. Ann as my name day. πŸ™‚

There’s not a lot known about Saint Ann, but tradition (with a small “t”) has it that Saints Joachim and Ann were rich, but very devout. They prayed a long time for a child and their prayers were answered in a big way! Imagine being parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Here’s some other information about St Ann (and St. Joachim) as seen through the mystics.

The Legend

My home church growing up was Saint Ann’s in Keansburg, NJ. I discovered several years ago that supposedly, soon after St. Ann’s was built, St. Ann appeared to several parishioners. According to what I was told, she appeared several days in a row. She never spoke, but just looked down from above the church. I don’t know if any of this is true, but it’s certainly a nice thought!

Celebrating the Day

Last year, Andrew colored a picture of Saint Ann, which I found on Waltzing Matilda’s website. We read about the life of St Ann and St. Joachim. We went to mass, prayed the rosary and thanks to a gift card I had received, we treated Andrew to a movie.

This year, I’m getting the special treat. πŸ™‚ My in-laws are taking Andrew, along with a couple of cousins on a day long motor home trip.Β  They are going to spend the day as pirates, and have a mini camp-out. In the meantime, I get to have almost the whole day to myself! I have some work, retreat/prayer time and down time planned and I am going to enjoy every minute of it. πŸ™‚

Prayer to Saint Ann (found in Picture book of Saints)

“O God, You bestowed on St. Ann such grace that she was found worthy to become the mother of Mary, who brought forth Your Only-begotten Son. Grant that we may be helped by her intercession. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen”

Saint Ann, pray for us!

(P.S. I want to do a special shout-out to my friend, Anne, who is also celebrating her feast day with me. Happy name-day, dear friend!)

Saint JoachimSaint Joachim

There is even less known about Saint Joachim than there is of Saint Ann – except that he was wealthy, pious and the father of Mary. InΒ my research, though, I discovered that there is knighthood order dedicated to Saint Joachim; however, after reading some questionable things, I’m not comfortable linking to the website.

Prayer to Saint Joachim (found on about.com)

“O great and glorious Patriarch, Saint Joachim, what joy is mine when I consider that thou wast chosen among all God’s holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy! By this singular privilege, thou hast become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us; with great confidence I have recourse to thy mighty protection and I commend to thee all my needs and those of my family, both spiritual and temporal; and especially do I entrust to thy keeping the particular favor that I desire and look for from thy fatherly intercession. And since thou wast a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace of interior recollection and a spirit of detachment from the transitory goods of this life, together with a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me in like manner a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy Church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her: to the end that I may live and die in faith and hope and perfect charity, ever invoking the holy names of Jesus and Mary, and may I thus be saved. Amen.”

Saint Joachim, pray for us!

Linked to Saints & Scripture Sunday.

(Photo credit: Artsome-studio)

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

Today is the feast of a great saint: Saint Andrew.Β  He was the first apostle of Jesus and a fearless preacher of the gospel to the people of Asia Minor. He was crucified X style (in Greece) and died after suffering for two days.

The feast of Saint Andrew also marks the first day of the Christmas novena. Although the novena is named after St. Andrew, the prayer is actually directed to Jesus. This is a lovely way to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ at Christmas.

To pray this novena, all you have to do is say this short prayer 15 times a day (don’t worry, it only takes a few minutes, total):

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of his Blessed Mother. Amen.

(P.S. today is also my son’s name day. If you have a second, please say a little prayer for him. Thanks!)

The Archangel Saint Michael

Saint Michael

“Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.”Β  Revelation 12:7-9

The feast of the Archangels is one of my favorite feasts. In our spiritual battles it is comforting to know that St. Michael and the other angels are there fighting for us and watching over us!

Many people know the prayer to Saint Michael; but, did you know that the prayer is condensed? There is an original prayer that is longer – and very powerful. I pray the longer version over my family about once a month. You can find the original prayer and other prayers to Saint Michael here. (When you click the link the website has music that starts automatically, so scroll down a bit and you’ll see the player to turn the music off.)

Not to leave them out, today is also the feast day of St. Gabriel the Archangel and St. Raphael the Archangel. Here are some prayers to St. Gabriel and here are some prayers to St. Raphael.

May the archangels watch over you and protect you all the days of your life. Happy feast day everyone.

A Spot of Tea with Saint Clare

Yesterday was the St Clare’s feast day – the foundress of the Poor Clare Nuns. And, since Andrew has been asking for another tea party, I decided to combine the two!

First, Andrew “invited” some of his stuffed animals (!), and we set the table with our table cloth and china. Then we made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that we cut into shapes. While eating lunch I read about the life of Saint Clare and talked about it for a bit.

St. Clares Teatime

St Clare Andrew

After lunch, we ate homemade sugar cookies and I read to Andrew from two of his favorite books: “Guess How Much I Love You” and “Children’s Book of Virtue.”

Sugar Cookies

Andrew and Sugar cookies

Teatime books

He loves the stories in the “Children’s Book of Virtues! If you are familiar with the book, his favorite story is ‘Saint George and the Dragon’; which is so typical of a boy! lol! πŸ™‚

Celebrating Trinity Sunday

Last week, when I was looking for activities do with Andrew in preparation for the feast of the Trinity, I was shocked about the lack of activities out there (or no one else could think of anything to do either!). All I could find was a suggestion to make Napoleon ice cream sundaes and a couple of coloring pages (here and here).

So, for three days prior the feast day we prayed a modified version of the Angelic Trisagion, had several interesting conversations about the Trinity (explaining the Trinity to a five-year old is no easy feat!), did the coloring pages, and tried to mark the day as special.

On Saturday, after going to confession, we decided to stay for mass. On our way home, my husband surprised me and said HE was going to make breakfast in the morning!

Since he was making breakfast, my planned menu went out the window, but that’s okay! He decided on poached eggs, english muffins, and corned beef hash, instead. πŸ™‚

Here’s some “proof” that my husband cooked!

mbrkfas2

And here are a few pictures of our breakfast fun!

being sillymy men

The rest of the day we enjoyed each others company and a couple of Andrew’s friends came over to play for a while.

I didn’t come up for anything “Trinitarian”, but we had a nice supper of baked chicken, roasted potatoes and veggies and asparagus. For dessert we had leftover brownies from Andrew’s first sleepover. πŸ™‚ I failed to get pics of our dinner fun, though.

Next year, hopefully, I’ll be better prepared ahead of time so that I can come up with more creative ideas!