SAINTS JOACHIM AND ANNE (Parents of Mary)

July26 The Saints Joachim and Anne were the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and therefore grandparents of Jesus of Nazareth. They were both of the tribe of Judah, and of the royal House of David. There is a legend that tells us that for many years they were childless, always praying for a child, because in those days being childless was looked upon as punishment from God. An angel told them they were to have a child, and in thanksgiving they promised to dedicate the child to God.

When Mary was three years old, her parents took her to the Temple as promised and handed her over to the priests. She stayed there learning and working with other girls. It was probably her parents who taught her to read and to understand Scripture, and to love God and listen and obey His commands.

There is another "Mary" mentioned in the Gospels as the "sister" of the Mother of God, but it was more probable that The Blessed Virgin Mary was an only child, and the other Mary was a cousin.

Little is known of the lives of both Joachim and Anne, but both have been venerated from early Christian times.

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