Feast day: July 26
By tradition Joachim and Anne are
considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no
historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any
stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend and tradition.
We get the oldest story from
a document called the Gospel of James, though in no way should this document be trusted to
be factual, historical, or the Word of God. The legend told in this document says that
after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would
have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was
dedicated by his mother Hannah -- Anne -- in 1 Kings).
For those who wonder what we
can learn from people we know nothing about and how we can honor them, we must focus on
why they are honored by the church. Whatever their names or the facts of their lives, the
truth is that it was the parents of Mary who nurtured Mary, taught her, brought her up to
be a worthy Mother of God. It was their teaching that led her to respond to God's request
with faith, "Let it be done to me as you will." It was their example of
parenting that Mary must have followed as she brought up her own son, Jesus. It was their
faith that laid the foundation of courage and strength that allowed her to stand by the
cross as her son was crucified and still believe.
Such parents can be examples
and models for all parents.
Anne (or Ann) is the patron
saint of Christian mothers and of women in labor.
TO ST JOACHIM AND ST ANNE
Great and glorious patriarch, St
Joachim, and good St Anne, what joy is mine when I consider that you were chosen among all
Gods holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich
our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
By this singular privilege, you have become most powerful with both the Mother and
her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us.
With great confidence I have recourse
to your mighty protection, and I commend to you all my needs, both spiritual and temporal,
and those of my family. Especially do I
entrust to your keeping the particular favour that I desire and look for from your
And since you were a perfect pattern
of the interior life, obtain for me the grace to pray earnestly, and never to set m heart
on the passing goods of this life. Give me a
lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain
for me also a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy church and the sovereign pontiff who
rules over her, in order that I may live an die in faith and hope and perfect charity. Let me ever invoke the holy Names of Jesus and
Mary. And may I thus be saved. Amen.
LITANY IN HONOUR OF ST
(for private devotion)
Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have
mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us. have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, one God,
have mercy on us.
St Anne, pray for us.
Offspring of the royal race of David, *
Daughter of the Patriarchs,
Faithful spouse of St Joachim
Mother of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God,
Gentle mother of the Queen of heaven,
Grandmother of Our Saviour,
Beloved of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Instrument of the Holy Spirit,
Richly endowed with Gods grace,
Example of piety and patience in suffering,
Mirror of obedience,
Ideal of pure womanhood,
Protectress of virgins,
Model of Christian mothers,
Protectress of the married,
Guardian of children,
Support of Christian family life,
Help of the Church,
Mother of mercy,
Mother of confidence,
Friend of the poor,
Example of widows,
Health of the sick,
Cure of those who suffer from disease,
Mother of the infirm,
Light of the blind,
Speech of those who cannot speak,
Hearing of the deaf,
Consolation of the afflicted,
Comforter of the oppressed,
Joy of the Angels and Saints,
Refuge of sinners,
Harbour of salvation,
Patroness of a happy death,
Help of all who have recourse to you,
(* Pray for us is repeated after each invocation)
Lamb of God, You take away the sins
of the world; spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, good St Anne,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises
us pray. Almighty and eternal God, You were
pleased to choose St Anne to be the mother of the Mother of Your loving Son. Grant, we pray, that we who confidently honour her
may through her prayers attain to everlasting life. We
ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.