Hug of St. Joachim and St. Anne before the Golden Gate
Ambrosius Benson, c. 1528
Today is the Feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne, the parents of Mary and grandparents of Jesus. In the Catholic Church, this is the “feast of grandparents.” Grandparents have the responsibility to establish a Christian worldview for the generations that follow. They have the task of keeping the traditions of the faith alive for their children and grandchildren. This feast is also a reminder for the younger generation to cherish the wisdom and experience of their older family members. Grandparents are a precious gift to well-being of the family.
St. Joachim and St. Anne are models of faith and perseverance. Tradition holds that they struggled with infertility for decades. Infertility quite often resulted in couples being shunned and scorned by their family, friends and neighbors.
After years of longing for a child, undeterred in his faith, St. Joachim went into the wilderness to fast and pray for a child. Saint Anne remained home, donning garments of mourning, weeping to God because she was childless. A servant girl reminded St. Anne to put her trust in God. St. Anne washed away her tears, donned her bridal clothes and went into her garden to pray to God for a child.
God sent His messengers to St. Joachim in the wilderness and to St. Anne in the garden. The angels promised them that in spite of their old age, they would give birth to a child that would be known throughout the world. Spirits lifted, St. Joachim and St. Anne rushed to each other, meeting at the Jerusalem Golden Gate, rejoicing in the child that God promised would be born to them.
St. Joachim and St. Anne are great intercessors for married couples, expectant mothers and married couples struggling with infertility. They are also patron saints of grandparents.
In these tumultuous times, may the faith and perseverance of St. Joachim and St. Anne inspire us all to put our hope in God alone to bring peace, health, and prosperity to our homes, neighborhoods, and throughout this land.
Collect from the Mass for the Feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne
God of our fathers, you gave Saints Anne and Joachim
the privilege of being the parents of Mary, the mother
of your incarnate Son. May their prayers help us to attain
the salvation you have promised to your people.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.