Thursday, 26 July 2018

# Saints

Saints Anne and Joachim


The 26th of July is the feast day of Saints Anne (c. 50 BC – 12 AD) and Joachim (c. 50 B.C. – 15 AD). Saint Anne is the patron saint of Brittany, Canada, Detroit, Fasnia (Tenerife); Mainar; carpenters; child care providers; childless people; children; equestrians; grandparents; homemakers/housewives; lace makers; lost articles; miners; mothers; moving house; old-clothes dealers; poverty; pregnancy; seamstresses; stablemen; sterility; and teachers. Saint Joachim is the patron saint of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, Dolores, Eastern Samar, fathers, grandparents, and Fasnia (Tenerife).

The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

ST. ANNE was the spouse of St. Joachim, and was chosen by God to be the mother of Mary, His own blessed Mother on earth. They were both of the royal house of David, and their lives were wholly occupied in prayer and good works. One thing only was wanting to their union.—they were childless, and this was held as a bitter misfortune among the Jews. At length, when Anne was an aged woman, Mary was born, the fruit rather of grace than of nature, and the child more of God than of man. With the birth of Mary the aged Anne began a new life: she watched her every movement with reverent tenderness, and felt herself hourly sanctified by the presence of her immaculate child. But she had vowed her daughter to God, to God Mary had consecrated herself again, and to Him Anne gave her back. Mary was three years old when Anne and Joachim led her up the Temple steps, saw her pass by herself into the inner sanctuary, and then saw her no more. Thus was Anne left childless in her lone old age, and deprived of her purest earthly joy just when she needed it most. She humbly adored the Divine Will, and began again to watch and pray, till God called her to unending rest with the Father and the Spouse of Mary in the home of Mary’s Child.

Reflection.—St. Anne is glorious among the Saints, not only as the mother of Mary, but because she gave Mary to God. Learn from her to reverence a divine vocation as the highest privilege, and to sacrifice every natural tie, however holy, at the call of God.

The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

Joachim (whose name means Yahweh prepares), was the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

If we were to obey the warning of St. Peter Damian, we should consider it a blameable and needless curiosity to inquire about those things that the Evangelists did not deem it advisable to relate, and, in particular, about the parents of the Blessed Virgin (Serm. iii de Nativ. B.M.V.). Tradition nevertheless, grounded on very old testimonies, very early hailed Saints Joachim and Anne as the father and mother of the Mother of God. True, this tradition seems to rest ultimately on the so-called “Gospel of James”, the “Gospel of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary”, and the Pseudo-Matthew, or “Book of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Childhood of the Saviour”; and this origin is likely to rouse well-founded suspicions. It should be borne in mind, however, that the apocryphal character of these writings, that is to say, their rejection from the canon, and their ungenuineness do not imply that no heed whatever should be taken of some of their assertions; side by side, indeed, with unwarranted and legendary facts, they contain some historical data borrowed from reliable traditions or documents; and difficult though it is to distinguish in them the wheat from the tares, it would be unwise and uncritical indiscriminately to reject the whole. Some commentators, who believe that the genealogy given by St. Luke is that of the Blessed Virgin, find the mention of Joachim in Heli (Luke, iii, 23; Eliachim, i.e. Jeho-achim), and explain that Joseph had, in the eyes of the law, become by his marriage the son of Joachim. That such is the purpose and the meaning of the Evangelist is very doubtful, and so is the identification proposed between the two names Heli and Joachim. Neither can it be asserted with certainty, in spite of the authority of the Bollandists, that Joachim was Heli’s son and Joseph’s brother; nor, as is sometimes affirmed, from sources of very doubtful value, that he had large possessions in herds and flocks. Much more interesting are the beautiful lines in which the “Gospel of James” describes how, in their old age, Joachim and Anne received the reward of their prayers to obtain issue. Tradition has it that the parents of the Blessed Virgin, who, apparently, first lived in Galilee, came later on to settle in Jerusalem; there the Blessed Virgin was born and reared; there also they died and were buried. A church, known at various epochs as St. Mary, St. Mary ubi nata est, St. Mary in Probatica, Holy Probatica, St. Anne, was built during the fourth century, possibly by St. Helena, on the site of the house of St. Joachim and St. Anne, and their tombs were there honoured until the close of the ninth century, when the church was converted into a Moslem school. The crypt which formerly contained the holy tombs was rediscovered on 18 March, 1889.

St. Joachim was honoured very early by the Greeks, who celebrate his feast on the day following the Blessed Virgin’s birthday; the Latins were slow to admit it to their calendar, where it found place sometimes on 16 Sept. and sometimes on 9 Dec. Assigned by Julius II to 20 March, the solemnity was suppressed some fifty years later, restored by Gregory XV (1622), fixed by Clement XII (1738) on the Sunday after the Assumption, and finally raised to the rank of double of the second class by Leo XIII (1 Aug., 1879).

CHARLES L. SOUVAY

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Our Lady of Medjugorje

February 2, 2019 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, the love and goodness of the Heavenly Father give revelations, which make faith grow, for it to be interpreted, that it may bring peace, certainty and hope. In this way, I, too, my children, through the merciful love of the Heavenly Father, always, anew, am showing you the way to my Son, to eternal salvation. But, unfortunately, many of my children do not want to hear me; many of my children are of two minds. And I always, in time and beyond time, magnified the Lord for all that He has done in me and through me. My Son gives Himself to you and breaks the bread with you. He speaks the words of eternal life to you so that you may carry them to everyone. And you, my children, apostles of my love, what are you afraid of when my Son is with you? Offer your souls to Him so that He can be in them and that He can make you instruments of faith, instruments of love. My children, live the Gospel, live merciful love for your neighbors, and, above all, live love for the Heavenly Father. My children, you are not united by chance. The Heavenly Father does not unite anyone by chance. My Son speaks to your souls. I speak to your heart. As a mother I am saying to you: set out with me, love one another, and give witness. Do not be afraid, with your example, to defend the truth - the Word of God, which is eternal and never changes. My children, whoever acts in the light of merciful love and truth is always helped by Heaven and is not alone. Apostles of my love, may you always be recognized among all others by your hiddenness, love and radiance. I am with you. Thank you.

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