The Education of the Virgin, Diego Velázquez, c. 1617-18
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandparents of Jesus. Joachim and Anne are not mentioned in Scripture. Everything we know about them has been handed on by tradition. Desiring to have children, Joachim fasted and prayed in the desert for a child. An angel appeared to him and announced that he and Anne would soon have a daughter, who would be world renowned.
As respected members of the Jewish community, Joachim and Anne taught Mary the tenants of the faith. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, Joachim and Anne brought Mary when she was three years old to the temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. Mary remained in the temple to be prepared for the special role God would have her play in salvation history.