Monday, 26 July 2021 12:30

Saints Joachim & Anne

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2021SsJAWeb400Carmelites celebrate the memory of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary, today. Very early in the history of the Order feast days for both Joachim and Anne were added to the Carmelite Liturgical Calendar. Early Christian and Carmelite traditions saw in Anne one who helped form in Mary a heart open to God. Joachim is portrayed as a just man more interested in helping the poor than in amassing a fortune for himself.

Medieval Carmelite legends told that Anne and Joachim took the infant Mary to visit the hermits who allegedly were living on Mount Carmel. While lacking an historical basis, such legends indicate the close relationship that the Order sought to nurture with these saints.

Today Saints Anne and Joachim are still revered in a special way by members of the Carmelite Family, particularly as Protectors of the Order. Their feast, 26 July, is traditionally a time to pray for families. Pope Francis announced the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, to be celebrated each year on the fourth Sunday of July, coinciding with the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne.

Pope Francis has also made this day one of celebrating and praying for Grandparents and the Elderly.

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