On July 26th, the Church celebrates Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary, our Blessed Mother, and the grandparents of Jesus. We actually don’t know much about these two special parents and grandparents and what we do know about them comes to us through legend and tradition.
According to Catholic Online, “For those who wonder what we can learn from people we know nothing about and how we can honor them, we must focus on why they are honored by the church. Whatever their names or the facts of their lives, the truth is that it was the parents of Mary who nurtured Mary, taught her, brought her up to be a worthy Mother of God. It was their teaching that led her to respond to God’s request with faith, “Let it be done to me as you will.” It was their example of parenting that Mary must have followed as she brought up her own son, Jesus. It was their faith that laid the foundation of courage and strength that allowed her to stand by the cross as her son was crucified and still believe.”
Here are 10 simple ways to celebrate the feast day of Saints Joachim and Anne:
- If grandparents live close by invite them over for dinner. We started this tradition last year on Saints Joachim and Anne’s feast day and we plan on doing it this year since my children are so blessed to live close to both sets of grandparents.
- Call grandparents on the phone to say hello and to catch up.
- Send a card in the mail thanking the grandparents in your life for their love and support.
- Have your children color a Saints Joachim and Anne coloring page and give it to grandparents. If the grandparents don’t live close by, think how happy they would be to receive a sweet coloring page in the mail from their grandchildren.
But what if grandparents are no longer living? Here are some ideas that can still keep the spirit of this feast day alive.
- Spend time with an elderly neighbor talking or helping them with house projects or run errands with/for them.
- Bake some cookies for an elderly neighbor or do a house project in their home for them.
- Invite an elderly friend over for dinner and listen to stories of their own children or grandchildren they may not get to see on a regular basis.
- Take an elderly neighbor to Sunday Mass or daily Mass.
- Go visit a nursing home and deliver your children’s artwork or cards to them.
- Last, but not least, pray for the grandparents in your life and those friends who are widowed, lonely or homebound.
Prayer to St. Anne and St. Joachim
Dear Saint Anne and Saint Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and grandparents of Jesus, our Divine Savior, have pity on thy loving and trusting client, and listen to the petition which I present before thee.
Oh, blessed Saints, thou art both most dear to the Heart of Jesus, Whose beloved Mother was thy own tender, devoted child! Can He refuse anything to thee, in whose veins the same blood flowed which afterwards furnished the precious price of our Redemption? Great Saints, nothing was impossible to thy power and influence over the young Jesus “Who grew and waxed strong, full of wisdom” under the maternal care of thy glorious Daughter, the Queen of Heaven and Earth. In mercy and compassion, be like unto Him “Who went about doing good,” and come to the aid of thy servant in my great necessity!
Saint Anne, Saint Joachim, beloved parents of Mary, “our life, our sweetness and our hope,” pray to her for me and obtain my request. Amen.