SAINT ANN AND SAINT JOACHIM
First Century, BC
Novenas to saints Joachim and Ann, as the parents of the Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus Christ, are known for their intense power. Having suffered almost every trial a couple on earth may experience, they are approachable for the solving of any family crisis. Shamed by infertility, they were married for twenty years before they had their only child. They faced their daughter’s unexpected pregnancy and her near-desertion by her fiancé with great faith and tolerance. After Saint Joachim died, Saint Ann, in the throes of widowhood, watched as her beloved grandson became a prisoner and was crucified. Saints Joachim and Ann offer the loving acceptance and wisdom of grandparents, and one should never be ashamed to turn to them for any reason.
Very little factual information is available about the parents of the Virgin Mary. Saint Ann is said to have been twenty years old when she married the forty-nine-year-old Joachim. Comfortable financially, they lived in Nazareth and were faithful followers of the Jewish religion. Each year they divided their income into thirds, offering the first part to the temple for the worship of God, distributing the second to the poor, and keeping the third to maintain their moderate lifestyle. Their great misfortune was their barrenness. At the time, this was considered a divine punishment, and it led ultimately to Joachim’s offering being refused at the temple. Their community began to snub them, considering them inferior. Both Ann and Joachim made a vow to the Lord that if they did have a child, they would consecrate it to his service. After twenty years of marriage and no children, and once again humiliated when his offering to the temple was rejected, Joachim, too ashamed to return home, went to live among his shepherds. There, an angel came to him, ordered him to return to his wife, and told him that she was pregnant, saying, “Delayed conceptions and infertile childbearing are all the more wonderful! Your wife will bear you a daughter and you will call her Mary. As you have vowed, she will be consecrated to the Lord from infancy and filled with the Holy Spirit from her mother’s womb.” Simultaneously, Saint Ann had been given the same news. She gave birth to the Virgin Mary at the age of forty. Saint Joachim was sixty-nine. Devoted to God, they raised Mary accordingly. True to their promise, they sent her to live in the temple to serve God when she was three years old. This was an extremely difficult act of faith on their part, surrendering the one thing they cherished most to God. So it was that Mary never lived among common people. She was given extraordinary parents and a sheltered, religious life in the service of God.
Saint Ann is the better known of the two saints and her cult goes back to the beginning of the church. She is the patroness of housewives and women in labor. Because she kept her home in perfect order, she is the patron of cabinetmakers. In Brittany, Saint Ann has an exalted place. There were many sightings of her there in the 1600s. She is also the patroness of Canada.
Saint Ann is the patron Saint of : Housewives, Pregnancy, Family Crisis, Cabinetmakers, Brittany and Canada. She is invoked against: Infertility.
Together, Saints Ann and Joachim are the Patron Saints of Parents and Grandparents.
Their Feast Day is July 26.
Novena to Saints Joachim and Ann
Saints Joachim and Ann, grandparents of Jesus and parents of Mary, we seek your intercession. We beg you to direct all our actions to the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls. Strengthen us when we are tempted, console us during our trials, help us when we are in need, be with us in life and in death.
O divine Savior, we thank you for having chosen Saints Joachim and Ann to be parents of our Blessed Mother Mary and so to be your own beloved grandparents. We place ourselves under their patronage this day. We recommend to them our families, our children, and our grandchildren. Keep them from all spiritual and physical harm. Grant that they may ever grow in greater love of God and others.
Saint Joachim and Ann, we have many great needs. We beg you to intercede for us before the throne of your divine Grandson. All of us here have our own special intentions, our own special needs, and we pray that through your intercession, our prayers may be granted. Amen.
(Mention your request here).
Say this novena nine times in a row for nine days in a row.
Excerpted from the book “Novena: The Power of Prayer” by Barbara Calamari and Sandra DiPasqua.