Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sts. Joachim and Anne

Today is the memorial of the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saints Joachim and Anne.

We know of these two people based on tradition and the apocryphal writing entitled, "Proto-Gospel of James" which was written around the 2nd or 3rd century. This writing is not the Word of God and many scholars do not consider it to be factual, historical or doctrinal. Since the 4th and 5th centuries, devotion to St. Anne was popular in the Eastern rites. This devotion eventually spread to the Western rites in the 10th century.

Tradition has it that St. Anne was born in Bethlehem just like Jesus and married Joachim of Nazareth.  Both of them are descendants of David. They gave birth to a young girl who they named Mary. Mary would be immaculately conceived preparing her to bear the Christ child years later. Joachim and Anne raised Mary in the Jewish faith, teaching her the Law and virtuous living. Tradition states that Anne could not have children. Joachim is said to have had a visition from an angel who informed him that Anne would have a daughter.

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