By Reynaldo Cruz
On July 26, the Church celebrates the feast of the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saints Joachim and Anne. Joachim and Anne were also the grandparents of Jesus. According to those traditions, Joachim was a very wealthy and generous man. He and his wife, Anne, however, were childless until they were advanced in years. One day, before Anne conceived the Blessed Virgin Mary, Joachim arrived at the Temple to make an offering. It was rejected by a man named Rubim, most likely a Levitical priest, because Joachim was childless. “It is not right for you first to bring your offerings, because you have not made seed in Israel.” Children were exceedingly important at that time; to be childless was understood as disfavor from God.
So, why do we honor them? We honor them because of the love and care they have shown in raising Mary. Just like what Pope Francis said:
“Mary grew up in the home of Joachim and Anne; she was surrounded by their love and faith: in their home she learned to listen to the Lord and to follow his will. Saints Joachim and Anne were part of a long chain of people who had transmitted their faith and love for God, expressed in the warmth and love of family life, down to Mary, who received the Son of God in her womb and who gave him to the world, to us. How precious is the family as the privileged place for transmitting the faith!”