+ 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 2nd-century text known as the Protoevangelium of James.
+ It is said that the couple, already aging and still childless, 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 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 faithful to the promises made to us.
“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
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.