Today the Church celebrates the feast of Sts. Joachim and Ann – the parents of Mary and grandparents of Jesus. Joachim and Ann are never mentioned in the canonical gospels. Most of what we know about them comes from the Protoevangelium of James – stories regarding the youth of Mary that come out of the oral tradition of the Church. The Protoevangelium of James has had a significant influence in the history of the Christian faith beginning in the early centuries of the Church through the Middle Ages and still has a lot to offer.
We may not know much, biographically, about Joachim and Ann but we can say that someone had to teach Mary the history of her people and someone had to instill within her the hope and dreams of Israel. Someone, had to help prepare Mary for her being able to say “yes” when the angel Gabriel came to her.
From the prayers for today’s feast:
God of our fathers,
you gave Saints Joachim and Ann
the privelege of being the parents of Mary,
the mother of your incarnate Son…
your Son was born as a man
so that men could be born again in you.
As you nourish us with the bread of life,
given only to your sons and daughters,
fill us with the Spirit who makes us your children.
So … kudos to you Joachim and Ann! You done good! And thank God for all those grandparents and parents who simply and humbly and in often daily and unseen ways pass on the beauty of faith and hope!