Saint Anne and Saint Joachim


Saints Anne and Joachim are considered the parents of Mary, and, therefore, the grandparents of Jesus. The information comes from apocryphal writings (specifically the Protogospel of James).

They were honoured from early times and their names were eventually entered into the Roman calendar in 1584. Anne is the principal patron of the Province of Quebec.

The Church venerates Saints Anne and Joachim today, July 26. An early story in Church history recounts that they were similar to Abraham and Sarah in being childless. They continued to trust in God. Joachim eventually turned to prayer and fasting in the wilderness.

According to the story, Anne remained at home and dressed in mourning clothes because of her childlessness. A servant girl reminded Anne to not lose trust in God and hope for a child. Anne washed her face and went to the garden to plead with God for a child.

As with Abraham and Sarah, angels appeared to Anne and Joachim, promising that despite their old age, they would give birth to a child. That child was Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Saints Anne and Joachim are considered powerful intercessors for all married couples, expectant mothers and married couples who are having difficulty conceiving, as well as all who have grown old.

Here is a prayer to Anne and Joachim.

Good parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

grandparents of our Savior, Jesus Christ,

When life seems barren,

help us to trust in God’s mercy.

When we are confused,

help us to find the way to God.

When we are lost in the desert,

lead us to those whom God has called us to love.

When our marriage seems lifeless,

show us the eternal youth of the Lord.

When we are selfish,

teach us to cling only to that which lasts.

When we are afraid,

help us to trust in God.

When we are ashamed,

remind us that we are God’s children.

When we sin,

lead us to do God’s will.

You who know God’s will for husband and wife,

help us to live chastely.

You who know God’s will for the family,

keep all families close to you.

You who suffered without children,

intercede for all infertile couples.

You who trusted in God’s will,

help us to respect God’s gift of fertility.

You who gave birth to the Blessed Mother,

inspire couples to be co-creators with God.

You who taught the Mother of God,

teach us to nurture children in holy instruction.

You whose hearts trusted in God,

hear our prayers for . . . (state your request).

Pray with us for the ministry of Catholic family life.

Hail Mary . . .  Our Father . . . Glory be . . .

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.

Let’s pray in a special way today for all grandparents. We know how often they play a significant role in the formation of their grandchildren.

Philip Shano, SJ has many years of rich and varied experience working with Ignatian spirituality: teaching, writing and using it in his ministry. He resides in the Jesuit community in Pickering, Ontario.

  • Susan Tomenson
    Posted at 07:17h, 26 July Reply

    Thanks, Philip, so much for your commentary on Anne and Joachim.
    My grand parents were very special people in my life. I often pray to them and feel their closeness.
    Thanks for helping me get into my prayer this morning.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 09:52h, 26 July Reply

    Thank you Philip!

  • Michelle
    Posted at 12:26h, 26 July Reply

    Beautiful reflection and will definitely pray the prayer. Thank you.

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