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The Catholic Defender: Saints Joachim and Anne

Sts. Joachim and Anne can intercede for grandparents who seek help and guidance for their grandchildren.

Saints Joachim and Anne were part of a long chain of people who had transmitted their faith and love for God, expressed in the warmth and love of family life, down to Mary, who received the Son of God in her womb and who gave him to the world, to us.

Both received the vision of an angel, who announced that Anne would conceive and bear a most wondrous child. The couple rejoiced at the birth of their daughter, whom Anne named Mary.

Their prayers were heard, and an Angel came to Anne and said, “The Lord has looked upon thy tears; thou shalt conceive and give birth and the fruit of thy womb shall be blessed by all the world”. The Angel made the same promise to Joachim, who returned to his wife.

Images of Saint Joachim are often identified by the presence of his associated symbols. A book or scroll represents linen makers, a shepherd's staff for the Christian word, and a basket of doves represents peace. He is almost always dressed in green, the color of hope.

Joachim is regarded as the father of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. Tradition has it that St. Joachim was a retired Priest or Holy man of his time.

Joachim is the patron saint of fathers, grandfathers, grandparents, linen traders, cabinet makers and married couples. He is often pictured in art as an older man with St. Anne and the Virgin Mary at his side. He also is often shown holding a scroll or book to represent linen makers or with doves to represent peace.

Anne is the patroness of women in labor, the patroness for women praying for the gift of a child and the patron saint of grandmothers. Many 50-something or plus Catholics from the Northeast — especially Franco-American Catholics from New England — know of the strong devotion to St.

Saint Anne is a testament to the divine and unique role of women, specifically as wives and mothers. She was no ordinary woman; by virtue of being faithful, she became extraordinary. Saint Anne is now known and celebrated as the patron saint of grandparents, mothers, married couples, and the infertile.

In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother’s family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed. Even the names “Joachim” and “Anne” come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died.

The heroism and holiness of these people however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.

The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past.

Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith, and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.

There is a church of St. Anne in Jerusalem, and it is believed to be built on the site of the home of Sts. Joachim and Anne when they lived in Jerusalem. Anne is the patron of grandmothers, among many other things, and Joachim of grandfathers and grandparents.

This is the “feast of grandparents.” It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come: They must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children. But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well. It reminds the young that older people’s greater perspective, depth of experience, and appreciation of life’s profound rhythms are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.

I count on your intercession, Saint Ann, for courage and peace of mind. Do implore God to heal me, for everything is possible to Him and He answers your prayer. I pray to you also on behalf of all the suffering and sick people of the world, especially those I know and assist personally.

Saint Anne, pray for us. Glorious Saint Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer, burdened by the weight of my troubles I kneel before you and humbly beg you to take the present petition I bring to you under your maternal protection.

Prayer: O blessed and happy pair, Joachim and Ann, to whom the Almighty gave for a daughter the immaculate Virgin, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a grace which is a speaking evidence of your purity, and of your lives being perfectly ordered according to the will of God oh, obtain for me grace, that I may serve ...


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