“A grandparent has silver in their hair and gold in their heart.” ~ Unknown
Today our Church commemorates the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandparents of our Lord Jesus, Saints Joachim and Anne. Throughout the course of salvation history, we come to see that God places his chosen ones, those with a special mission, in special families. John the Baptist is a prime example, https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Nativity-of-Saint-John-the-Baptist, Jesus is of course another https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/A-Spontaneous-Gathering-of-the-Holy-Family-and-the-Value-of-Work. Today we are blessed to give thanks for the parents of our Blessed Mother, she who was the Immaculate Conception https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/She-Will-Be-Great.
Although the New Testament contains no specific information about the lives of Joachim and Anne, other documents outside of the Biblical canon, the Protoevangelium of James comes to mind, do provide some details which shed some light on their lives and the virtues they possessed. Although these writings are not considered authoritative in the same manner as the Bible, they do in fact outline some of the Church's basic and more traditional beliefs about Joachim, Anne and their daughter, she who would go on to be crowned the Queen of Heaven https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Our-Life-Our-Sweetness-Our-Hopeand-Our-Queen.
The Protoevangelium of James was believed to have been consolidated into its final written form in the early stages of the second century. It describes Joachim as a wealthy member of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. He was deeply grieved, as was his wife Anne, on account of their childlessness. “He called to mind Abraham,” the early Christian writing says, “that in the last day God gave him a son Isaac.”
Joachim and Anne began to devote themselves to rigorous prayer and fasting, in isolation from one another and from society. In turn, God would go on to bless them even more abundantly than Abraham and Sarah. An angel revealed this to Anne when he appeared to her and prophesied that all generations would honor their future child: “The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth; and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.”
The protoevangelium goes on to describe how Joachim and Anne, along with the temple priests, decided that she would be offered to God as a consecrated Virgin for the rest of her life. She went on to enter a chaste marriage with the carpenter Joseph https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Daily-Mass-Reflections-1218.
“These were godly men whose virtues have not been forgotten; Their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants.” These are the words from the author of the Book of Sirach in today’s 1st Reading (Sirach 44:1, 10-15) in reference to the holy and reverent ancestors that he joyfully recalled from his youth. “Their name lives on and on,” he concludes. “At gatherings their wisdom is retold,and the assembly proclaims their praise.”
The wealth he speaks of is not that of gold, silver, jewels or any other of a myriad of worldly riches of the secular variety. The eternal wealth that the author of Sirach proclaims is that which comes from an understanding of and joy for the fullness and richness of the Christian Faith. This is what he holds to be genuine, true, and yes, eternal. The culture today tears at the faith, our youth seemingly more susceptible to its lure. This is where the wisdom of grandparents play such a vital role. Through their example, we come to see the fleeting nature of this world this allowing us to focus on that which is important and to cast aside that which is not. Saint Joachim and Anne’s faith and perseverance brought them through the sorrow of childlessness to the joy of conceiving and raising the immaculate and sinless woman who would give birth to the Christ, the Savior of the world.
“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.”
~ Saint John Damascene/Doctor of the Church
......Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.