Saints Joachim and Anne

Today is the feast of saints Joachim and Anne who are considered to be the parents of Mary, the Blessed Mother.

Saints Joachim and Anne

Image by dimitrisvetsikas1969 (2016) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Their Lives

Their names are not mentioned in the bible. In fact, they aren’t mentioned in the bible at all. They are mentioned in certain apocryphal writings, most notably, “The First Gospel of James.” These writings, obviously, do not have the authority of the bible by any stretch of the imagination; however, they do give a sketch of their lives.

So, tradition holds that that Joachim and Anne suffered years of infertility. This was a source of shame for them because at that time, having children was a blessing from God. Still, in their shame, they continued to be faithful to God and His promises and called out to Him in prayer.

Eventually, Anne had the good blessing of having a vision of an angel who announced that she will have a child that will be blessed for generations to come! At the birth of Mary, their joy knew no bounds! Therefore, in gratitude to God, they consecrated Mary to God and she was raised in the temple. (This was normal at that time.)

The Lesson

Whether or not the traditional accounts are real or  not, we can learn some lessons from Saints Joachim and Anne. One that stick out for me, in their sorrow and shame in not being able to have children, they remained faithful to God. They didn’t hide from their pain, instead, they took it to God.

Mind you, they felt the sorrow and shame. The feelings were real. Feelings are not sinful; they are neutral. It is what we do with those feelings that count. Many of us, myself included, tend to suppress our “bad” feelings or use those feelings as an excuse to turn away from God. We (I) forget that God isn’t afraid of our feelings. It is okay to cry out to God, to yell at Him, to be mad at him when things don’t turn out the way we had hoped, expected, or wanted.

How about you? Do you agree with this assessment of our feelings? Do you turn away from God when you get angry or disappointed?

References

Here are some websites about Saints Joachim and Anne:

Catholic News Agency

Catholic.org

Britannica

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. 🙂

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. 🙂 My in-laws are taking Andrew, along with a couple of cousins on a day long motor home trip.  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. 🙂

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. In 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)