Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Joachim and Anne, Parents of Mary

Joachim & Anne, parents of the Virgin Mary

Sts. Joachim and Anne
Mary's parents must have been very devout and God-centered people. For God would not have chosen them to be the parents of His Mother from those who were not.  I can imagine how heartbroken Anne and Joachim were on not having children in the days when this was thought shameful.  

But imagine the joy and love that they had when Mary was born! She was their cherished treasure.  They taught her to love and serve God with her whole heart, soul and being.  In humble servitude to help others in need. 

It is said that her parents were so happy when Mary was born that they consecrated her to God.  When she was a very young girl she was taken to the temple to serve as a maiden in the service of God. Seeing her go into the temple must have been a great joy but also a great sacrifice -- the beloved child that they doted on was not with them anymore.  They must have missed her terribly.

The child Mary consecrated to the Temple

We do not know much about St. Joachim and St. Anne - but imagine being the parents of the Virgin Mary -- the chosen Mother of God and the grandparents of Jesus Our Lord, how blessed they are!  

St. Joachim and St. Anne pray for us!  Especially us who are grandparents! Help us be good examples of living the Christian Catholic faith.

The Greek Orthodox Church 
has much more to say about 
the story of Joachim and Anne.  See the website

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By their fruits you will know them
From a sermon by Saint John Damascene, bishop

Sts. Joachim and Anne with the Virgin Mary as a child
Ann was to be the mother of the Virgin Mother of God, and hence nature did not dare to anticipate the flowering of grace.  Thus nature remained sterile, until grace produced its fruit.  For she who was to be born had to be a first-born daughter, since she would be the mother of the first-born of all creation, in whom all things are held together.

Joachim and Ann, 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.

St. Anne,Virgin Mary & Jesus the Son of God
And so rejoice, Ann, that you were sterile and have not borne children, break forth into shouts, you who have not given birth. Rejoice, Joachim, because from your daughter a child is born for us, a son is given us, whose name is Messenger of great counsel and universal salvation, mighty God. 

For this child is God.

Joachim and Ann, how blessed and spotless a couple!  You will be known by the fruit you have borne, as the Lord says: By their fruits you will know them. The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your daughter.  For by the chaste and holy life you led together, you have fashioned a jewel of virginity: she who remained a virgin before, during and after giving birth.  She alone for all time would maintain her virginity in mind and soul as well as in body.

Joachim and Ann, how chaste a couple!  While safeguarding the chastity prescribed by the law of nature, you achieved with God’s help something which transcends nature in giving the world the Virgin Mother of God as your daughter.  While leading a devout and holy life in your human nature, you gave birth to a daughter nobler than the angels, whose queen she now is.  Girl of utter beauty and delight, daughter of Adam and mother of God, blessed the loins and blessed the womb from which you come!  

Blessed the arms that carried you, 
blessed your parents’ lips, which 
you were allowed to cover 
with chaste kisses, 
ever maintaining your virginity.  

Rejoice in God, all the earth.  Sing, exult and sing hymns.  

Raise your voice, raise it and be not afraid.

taken from the Liturgy of the Hours