Today we celebrate the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s father and mother, St. Joachim and St. Anne.
The New Testament does not offer details about their lives, so what we know about them is rooted in the traditions handed down to us by the Church. Many other legends about Mary’s family give us some idea of what her parents were like.
Mary’s family lived in Nazareth. Joachim and Anne are thought to have suffered from infertility. As they grew older, they worried that they would never be able to conceive. Tradition says that an angel appeared to Joachim and Anne and promised that they would have a child.
That child was Mary, who would later become the Virgin Mother. Catholic teaching asserts that when Mary was conceived, she was free from original sin.
St. Anne is considered the protector of pregnant women. She is the patron saint of pregnancy, those struggling with infertility, and homemakers. St. Joachim is the patron saint of fathers, grandfathers, married couples, and more.
While we know so little about Joachim and Anne, because of our faith we can still ask for their intercession. Our prayer to them is just as impactful as a prayer of intercession to a better-known saint.
Best of all, we can thank Joachim and Anne for their faithfulness and their “yes” to God’s will for their lives, because their holy marriage and parenthood gave us the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In addition to the traditions of the Church, certain saints have been given special insights into Our Lady’s early life. The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics is a compilation of the visions of several saints—Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, St. Bridget of Sweden, Ven. Mother Mary of Agreda, and St. Elizabeth of Schoenau—concerning Our Lady’s hidden life, arranged into a chronological, easy-to-read narrative. Beginning with Our Lady’s holy parents and following her life up through the Assumption and Crowning, this compilation is sure to bring you closer to Our Blessed Mother and deepen your love for her. Available here at The Catholic Company!