+ Although not mentioned in Scripture, ancient tradition holds that Joachim and Anne were the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The earliest record of their name is found in the apocryphal second-century text known as the Protoevangelium of James.
+ Old and childless, it is said that the couple prayed that they would be given a child. While Joachim was in the desert and Anne prayed in their home, an angel appeared to them promising that Anne would conceive a child.
+ Devotion to the two saints spread quickly throughout the Eastern Church and devotion to Saint Anne became especially strong in the West. Since 1969, Saint Joachim and Anne have been honored together on July 26.
+ The liturgy of for the Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne focuses our attention on God’s plan of salvation, beginning with the promises made to Abraham, through the prophets and patriarchs, and coming down to us through the parents of Mary, to Mary herself, and, ultimately, to Jesus. God has been faithful to these promises and remains faith to the promises made to us.
On this day, the Church also honors the memory of Blessed Camilla Gentili. Born into a noble Italian family, she was given in marriage to an abusive and anti-religious man who hated her and her family for their Catholicism. Although she saved her husband from death for the murder of another Christian, her husband later turned on her and murdered her in 1485, in part because of her fidelity to her faith. A victim of domestic violence and a martyr for the faith, she was beatified in 1841.
“Joachim and Anne, how blessed a couple! All creation is indebted to you. For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts: a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of him.”—Saint John Damascene
To learn about the Sisters of St. Anne, visit: https://www.sistersofsaintanne.org/
O Lord, God of our Fathers,
who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace,
that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son,
grant, through the prayers of both,
that we may attain the salvation
you have promised to your people.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.