Thought for the Day – 26 July – Prayer for Grandparents By Pope Benedict XVI

Thought for the Day – 26 July – The Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Grandparents of Jesus

In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises.   Not only is his mother’s family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed.   Even the names Joachim and Anne come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died.

The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures.   Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfilment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.

The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past.

Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah but remain obscure.

This is the “feast of grandparents.”   It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come – they must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children.   But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well.   It reminds the young that older people’s greater perspective, depth of experience and appreciation of life’s profound rhythms, are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.

Prayer for Grandparents
By Pope Benedict XVI

Lord Jesus,
You were born of the Virgin Mary,
the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them!
They are a source of enrichment
for families, for the Church and for all of society.
Support them!
As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardian of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on, to future generations the fruits
of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Lord Jesus,
help families and society
to value the presence and roles of grandparents.
May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed
in all the years of life which You give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living,
keep grandparents constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families
may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity
for the great embrace of live without end.
Amen!prayer for grandparents by pope benedict xvi 26 july 2019 sts joachim and anne.jpg

Saints Joachim and Anne, Pray for Us All!sts joachim and anne pray for us no 2 26 july 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 26 July – ‘… Let us work our hearts…’

One Minute Reflection – 26 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23 and the Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty and in another thirty.”…Matthew 13:23

REFLECTION – “Indeed, you all know how land is cultivated.   First of all you pull out the weeds and throw away the stones, then you work the ground itself.   You do it again a second time, a third time and finally… you sow.   Oh, let it be like this in our souls!   First of all let us uproot the weeds, that is to say our evil thoughts, then take out the stones, in other words, all our malice and obstinacy.   Finally, let us work our hearts with the plough of the Gospel and the ploughshare of the cross.   Let us break it by repentance, turn over the soil with almsgiving and with charity, prepare it for the seed of Our Lord… that it may joyfully receive the seed of the divine word and bring forth fruit, not just thirty but sixty and a hundredfold.”...St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Monk & Bishop (Sermons to the people, no.6 passim ; SC 175)as-for-what-was-sown-matthew-11-23-st-caesarious-of-arles-finally-let-us-work-our-hearts-27-july-2018.jpg

PRAYER – O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of Your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may work hard to deserve the grace You send us and thus attain the salvation You have promised to Your people.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.   Sts Joachim and Anne, pray for us! Amensts joachim and anne pray for us 26 july 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 26 July

Thought for the Day – 26 July

By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God.   We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names.   Any stories about Mary’s father and mother come to us through legend and tradition.   We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though in no way should this document be trusted to be factual, historical, or the Word of God.   The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child.   Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah — Anne — in I Kings).

For those who wonder what we can learn from people we know nothing about and how we can honour them, we must focus on why they are honoured 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. Such parents can be examples and models for all parents. (Fr Thomas Rosica, CSB)

Sts Joachim and Anne, pray for us!

sts joachim and anne - pray for us 2

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 July

One Minute Reflection – 26 July

How wonderful is God among his saints; come, let us adore him…..Psalm 94

REFLECTION – “Joachim and Anne, how blessed a couple!   All creation is indebted to you. For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts:  a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of Him.   Joachim and Anne, how blessed and spotless a couple! You will be known by the fruit you have borne, as the Lord says:  “By their fruits you will know them.”   The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your daughter.   For by the chaste and holy life you led together, you have fashioned a jewel of virginity: she who remained a virgin before, during and after giving birth.   She alone for all time would maintain her virginity in mind and soul as well as in body.   Joachim and Anne, how chaste a couple!   While leading a devout and holy life in your human nature, you gave birth to a daughter nobler than the angels, whose queen she now is.” – from a sermon by Saint John Damascene (675-749) – Doctor of the Church

joachim and anne - st john damascene

PRAYER – O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation you have promised to your people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Sts Joachim and Anne, pray for us! Amen

sts anne and joachim pray for us

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint/s of the Day – 26 July – Sts Joachim and Anne – Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary & Grandparents of Jesus

Saint/s of the Day – 26 July – Sts Joachim and Anne – Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

St Anne – Name Meaning:  gracious one; grace.   Patronages – against poverty, against sterility or infertility, of broommakers, cabinetmakers, carpenters, childless people, equestrians, expectant mothers; pregnant women,  grandmothers, grandparents,
horse men and women, housewives; homemakers, lace makers or workers, lost articles,
miners, mothers, old-clothes dealers, poor people, seamstresses, stablemen, turners,
Canada, France, 4 dioceses, 18 cities.

St Joachim – Name Meaning: God prepares, May God exalt.  Patronages – Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, fathers, grandfathers, grandparents.   The traditional tomb of Saint Anne and Saint Joachim was rediscovered in Jerusalem in 1889.


All our information concerning the names and lives of Sts Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary, is derived from apocryphal literature, the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Protoevangelium of James.   Though the earliest form of the latter, on which directly or indirectly the other two seem to be based, goes back to about A.D. 150, we can hardly accept as beyond doubt its various statements on its sole authority.   In the Orient the Protoevangelium had great authority and portions of it were read on the feasts of Mary by the Greeks, Syrians, Copts, and Arabians.   In the Occident, however, it was rejected by the Fathers of the Church until its contents were incorporated by Jacobus de Voragine in his “Golden Legend” in the thirteenth century. From that time on the story of St. Anne spread over the West and was amply developed, until St. Anne became one of the most popular saints also of the Latin Church.

The Protoevangelium gives the following account:   In Nazareth there lived a rich and pious couple, Joachim and Hannah.   They were childless.   When on a feast day Joachim presented himself to offer sacrifice in the temple, he was repulsed by a certain Ruben, under the pretext that men without offspring were unworthy to be admitted. Whereupon Joachim, bowed down with grief, did not return home, but went into the mountains to make his plaint to God in solitude.   Also Hannah, having learned the reason of the prolonged absence of her husband, cried to the Lord to take away from her the curse of sterility, promising to dedicate her child to the service of God.   Their prayers were heard; an angel came to Hannah and said:  “Hannah, the Lord has looked upon thy tears;  thou shalt conceive and give birth and the fruit of thy womb shall be blessed by all the world”.   The angel made the same promise to Joachim, who returned to his wife. Hannah gave birth to a daughter whom she called Miriam (Mary).   Since this story is apparently a reproduction of the biblical account of the conception of Samuel, whose mother was also called Hannah, even the name of the mother of Mary seems to be doubtful.

In the Latin Church St. Anne was not venerated, except, perhaps, in the south of France, before the thirteenth century.   Her picture, painted in the eighth century, which was found lately in the church of Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome, owes its origin to Byzantine influence.   Her feast, under the influence of the “Golden Legend”, is first found (26 July) in the thirteenth century, e.g. at Douai (in 1291), where a foot of St. Anne was venerated (feast of translation, 16 September).   It was introduced in England by Urban VI, 21 November, 1378, from which time it spread all over the Western Church.   It was extended to the universal Latin Church in 1584.

A little interesting snippet – St Anne is patroness of miners because Christ being compared to gold, Mary to silver.