Saints Anne and Joachim
We find the ancient story of Saints Anne and Joachim in the Gospel of James a noncanonical apocryphal Gospel distributed during the second century of the Church. Noncanonical apocryphal writings are still considered valuable as works of religious literature and religious history.
It is in this Gospel that we find most of what we know about the grandparents of Jesus and parents of the Blessed Mother, Anne and Joachim. After years of barrenness, Joachim goes into the desert to fast and pray for 40 days while Anne pleads with God for a child. An angel appears to Anne and tells her that the Lord has heard her prayer and that she will conceive and bring forth a child that will be spoken of throughout the world. An angel also appeared to Joachim telling him that the Lord God had heard his prayer and that he should return to his wife. The two then ran to meet each other at the Golden Gate of Jerusalem which is depicted in the artwork by Giotto di Bondone above.
The memorial of this holy couple which we celebrate today gives us reason to rejoice in the gift of family. To reflect and pray for those members of our family, living and deceased, who took the time to pass our treasured faith on to us. It is also a time to remember our responsibility as grandparents and parents, to continue in the memory of those who came before us, and pass on our faith, by doing the best we can (only by the grace of God), to be good examples of holiness and virtue for future generations.
Saints Anne and Joachim, pray for us.
Legend of St. Joachim Meeting at the Golden Gate - Giotto di Bondone