SS. Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary| S. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Sts. Joachim and Anne
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.
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.
Quote:“...[T]he family is the foundation of society. In it the various generations come together and help one another to grow wise and to harmonize personal rights with the other requirements of social life” (Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 52).
In the Latin Calendar we only celebrate the Feast Day of S. Anne, the Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary today. The Feast Day in honor of S. Joachim is celebrated on August 16. A story about the Feast Day in honor of S. Anne can be found by Clicking Here.
Feast Day: July 26
Patron Saint of Canada; Cabinetmakers; Housewives; Women in Labor
We have no certain knowledge of the mother of Our Lady. For her name and that of her husband Joachim, we have to depend on the testimony of the apocryphal Protevangelium of James, which is not a trustworthy document even though its earliest form dates to the second century. The story told is that his childlessness was made a public reproach to Joachim, who retired to the desert for forty days to fast and pray to God. At the same time, Anne (Hannah, which signifies "grace" - "mourned in to mournings, and lamented in two lamentations." As she sat praying beneath a laurel bush, an angel appeared and said to her, "Anne, the Lord hath heard thy prayer, and thou shalt conceive and bring forth, and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world." Anne replied, "As the Lord my God liveth, if I beget either mail or female I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life." Likewise, an angel appeared to her husband, and in due time it was born of them Mary, who was to be the Mother of God. Mary was most likely their only child.
Tradition has it that, fifty years after her death, St. Anne's body was brought to France by St. Mary Magdalen and her companions. The early cultus of St. Anne in Constantinople is attested by the fact that the Emperor Justinian I dedicated a shrine to her in the middle of the sixth century. Pope Constantine (708-715) probably introduced the devotion into Rome. There are two eighth-century representations of St. Anne in the frescoes of St. Maria Antqiua. She is mentioned conspicuously in a list of relics belonging to St. Angelo in Pescheria, and we know that Pope St. Leo III (759-816) presented a vestment to St. Mary Major which was embroidered with the Annunciation, St. Joachim, and St. Anne. But though there is very little to suggest any widespread cultus of the saint before the middle of the fourteenth century, this devotion became very popular a hundred years afterwards and was later derided by Luther.
The so-called selbdritt pictures (that is Jesus, Mary and Anne) were particularly an object of attack. At the request of certain English partitioners, Urban VI addressed in 1382 to the bishops of England alone the first papal pronouncement on the subject, enjoining the observance of an annual feast. It is quite possible that it was occasioned by the marriage of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia in that year. The feast was extended to the whole Western church in 1584. She became particularly popular in France, largely due to Tradition that her relics are there. Her popularity in France later carried to Canada.
Living With Integrity:
Living with integrity means knowing exactly who you are and always being that person--not compartmentalizing, for instance, by being Cathy Catholic on Sunday at Church but living like Secular Susie the rest of the week.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
If there is nothing but the desire to love God in a soul, everything is present already; God himself is there, because God is not, nor can He ever be, anywhere except where there is a desire for His love...
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236
We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!
Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.
The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!
Reflection 207: Taking Comfort in the Heart of Christ
Children often find great comfort in snuggling close to a loving and tender parent. There is great satisfaction in being held tight in these arms of love. Fear and worry are dispelled in these moments and peace and solace are restored when distress has been present. So it must be with our Lord. We must seek the spiritual comfort that comes from bringing our weary selves to the source of all comfort. Drawing close to the Heart of our Lord brings peace in the midst of any turmoil. Stress, frustration, hurt and confusion are dismissed and replaced with a sense of confidence and safety. The Heart of the Lord reverberates in such a way that it invites us to take refuge in its rhythm. His compassion and Mercy are distributed with every beat as His Precious Blood covers us as a blanket of grace. Run to this source of comfort and allow the merciful Heart of your God to be your place of rest (See Diary #1074).
In your prayer, are you able to take comfort and solace in the Merciful Heart of our Lord? Reflect upon the intimacy that you are invited to share. It is an intimacy beyond any human comfort and distributes a grace that floods your soul with Mercy and peace. Ponder the image of a small child taking comfort in the arms of a loving parent. This is but a glimpse of the care that our Lord desires to show to you.
Heavenly Father, draw me close to You and to the Heart of Your Son. May I turn to You in all things and in every moment of distress in my life. I entrust myself to You and cling to Your Heart which is filled with compassion and love. May Your Heart be a resting place for my weary soul. I love You my God and I take refuge in You and You alone. Jesus, I trust in You.