Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 17 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Hildegard of Bingen
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

5 Lessons for modern parents from Our Lady’s parents

SAINT JOACHIM AND SAINT ANNE

Dimitris Vetsikas | Pixabay CC0

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 07/26/21

There are clues in Mary's life that reveal the kind of peaceful, holy people her parents were.

We don’t know much about the Blessed Virgin Mary’s parents, but what we do know reveals a man and woman of extraordinary holiness. Modern parents can learn so much from their example.

In today’s world, when we have videos, photos, and extensive writings of modern-day saints, it’s kind of amazing how little we know about Our Lady’s parents. They aren’t mentioned at all in Scripture. Tradition calls them St. Joachim and St. Anne, but even their names “come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died.” 

At the same time, we can draw important conclusions from the actions and character of Mary herself. Research tells us that children closely imitate the behaviors they see. They are “the world’s best ‘copy cats.’” So we can find clues in Our Lady’s life that reveal her upbringing to us. As one source concludes, 

The heroism and holiness of [her parents] is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.

A picture of Saints Joachim and Anne emerges from what we know of their daughter. They seem to have been calm, steady people, who raised their daughter with intention and care. They were probably very wise and devout. 

This understanding is just what we see in traditional depictions of St. Anne. The usual religious image of St. Anne is a mother reading from Scripture to her little girl. It shows a devoted, thoughtful mother taking great care to hand down traditional beliefs and useful skills to her daughter. 

Knowing how children learn from copying their parents, we can see glimpses in Mary’s behavior of what her family must have been like. Here are 5 lessons for today’s parents from the lives of Saints Joachim and Anne. These are things we should not only teach to our children with words but also model for them with our actions and lives.

Tags:
ParentingSaintsVirgin Mary

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
CELEBRITIES
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
4
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
5
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
6
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.