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Sts. Joachim and Anne: the Patron Saints of Grandparents

Sts. Joachim and Anne: the Patron Saints of Grandparents

Who are St. Joachim and St. Anne?
They are two very special Catholic Saints, famous for being the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Unfortunately, there is not much information in the Bible and Gospels about these two Saints. All we know about them comes from Catholic legend and the Gospel of James, which is unsanctioned, apocryphal writing from the second century AD. Both are considered the Patron Saints of grandparents and are celebrated on 26 July.
Let’s discover some basic information about the grandparents of Jesus.

St. Anne and St. Joachim with the Blessed Virgin MaryRepresentation of St. Anne and St. Joachim with the Blessed Virgin.

Who is St. Anne?

Saint Anne was the mother of the Holy Virgin and is considered the Patron Saint of Mothers, Pregnancy, Grandmothers and safe childbirth. She was born in Bethlehem (like her grandson Jesus) and she was a descendant of a priestly lineage.
She immediately distinguished herself for her extreme obedience, modesty and sweetness.
Although many of that era wanted to marry her, it was eventually Joachim who married her, a man from Nazareth who came directly from King David’s royal family.
In addition to being the biological mother of Mary, she was the nurse and educator of the Holy Virgin. She was the teacher of She who was elected to be the Mother of the Savior and the center of wisdom, one of the most important virtues ever.
If you are devoted to Saint Anne, here is a hand-carved wooden statue representing the grandmother of Jesus.

St. Anne statue in wood from the Vatican


Who is St. Joachim?

Saint Joachim was a noble man from Nazareth who came directly from King David’s royal family. He was the father of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, and according to tradition, he was a retired Priest of Holy man of his time. He is considered the Patron Saint of fathers, grandfathers, grandparents, married couples and cabinet makers. In the iconography, he is usually represented as an old man and he does not have a feast day for himself only. In fact, he is celebrated together with St. Anne on 26 July.
According to tradition, he was deeply devoted to the Lordjust like his wife Anne. One day, when he was away from home, an angel of God appeared in his dreams, saying that he and Anne would bear a child who would be blessed through the ages. After waking up, he rushed home to share this fact with Anne, who revealed to him the same good thing. 

If you want to recite a prayer to Saint Joachim and dedicate it to your grandfathers, here it is!

Prayer to Saint Joachim, Father of the Holy Virgin Mary

O great and glorious Patriarch, Saint Joachim,
what joy is mine when I consider that thou wast chosen among
all God's holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God,
and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.

By this singular privilege,
thou hast become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son,
so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us;
with great confidence I have recourse to thy mighty protection and
I commend to thee all my needs and those of my family,
both spiritual and temporal;
and especially do I entrust to thy keeping the particular favor that
I desire and look for thy fatherly intercession.
And since thou wast a perfect pattern of the interior life,
obtain for me the grace of interior recollection and
a spirit of detachment from the transitory goods of this life,
together with a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary.

Obtain for me in like manner a sincere devotion and obedience
to the Holy Church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her:
to the end that I may live and die in faith and hope and perfect charity,
ever invoking the holy names of Jesus and Mary, and may I thus be saved.


The Marriage of St. Anne and Joachim

Because of this happy kinship, the priestly lineage of Anne found itself united in the same family with royal blood (Joachim), which was absolutely necessary for the fruit of that marriage to one day be the mother of the Savior
After their marriage, both spouses lived many years in heavenly peace and harmony, serving the Lord with great zeal, but heaven had not blessed their union.
So, hoping no more offspring, by mutual agreement they took all their riches and distributed them to the poor, considering for themselves only what was purely necessary to survive.
According to tradition, it was precisely after having thus stripped themselves of earthly goods, that heaven answered their pleas and gave them the greatest good ever, superior to all human riches: the incomparable heavenly gift that is Mary, their daughter. Mary, in fact, was the greatest reward of voluntary poverty, of enlightened charity, of resigned pain and persevering prayers.

The Patron Saints of Grandparents

Since they were the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus, St. Anne and Joachim are considered the Patron Saints of Grandparents. To celebrate these two important characters of Christianity, Pope Francis established the fourth Sunday of July as the Christian World Day of Grandparents and Elderly.

St. Joachim and Anne serve as role models for parents and grandparents and both deserve to be honored and emulated for their strong devotion to God and Our Lady Mary, the Mother of God. So, if you want to honor your grandparents, dedicate a prayer to these two Saints.

Here is a prayer you can recite for your grandparents to St. Anne and Joachim.


Saint Anne and Saint Joachim,
you were ever faithful to God, trusting in Him
in your lives and while you prayed for a child.
Your patience and perseverance in prayer
are an example to me.
I ask that you pray for me,
that I may be ever faithful and trusting in God.
May I always keep my focus on Him and trust in His timing in my life.
May my love for God and my faith in Him never waiver,
no matter what happens in my life.
May I appreciate the faith of others (like you two)
and be inspired to a deeper faith.
May my life of faith in God be richly blessed.
May I know, love, and serve God with all of my heart.
Saints Anne and Joachim, thank you for your example of faith.
Thank you for your wonderful daughter, my spiritual mother Mary.
Thank you for the love of God and the faith you inspire in me.
Grandparents of Jesus, pray for me.


Related articles:
Novena to St. Anne: a prayer for a safe pregnancy→
The 5 Patron Saints of mothers and pregnancy→
Prayers for grandchildren: how to protect them through prayer→
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary: when do we celebrate it?→

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