Commemorated September 8.
The Most Holy Virgin Mary was born in the small city of Galilee,
Nazareth. Her parents were Righteous Joachim of the tribe of the
Prophet-King David, and Anna from the tribe of the First Priest Aaron.
The couple was without child, since St Anna was barren.
reached old age, Joachim and Anna did not lose hope in God’s mercy. They
had strong faith that for God everything is possible, and that He would
be able to overcome the barrenness of Anna even in her old age, as He
had once overcame the barrenness of Sarah, spouse of the Patriarch
Abraham. Sts Joachim and Anna vowed to dedicate the child which the Lord
might give them, to the service of God in the Temple.
was considered among the Hebrew nation as a Divine punishment for sin,
and therefore the righteous Sts Joachim and Anna had to endure abuse
from their own countrymen. On one of the feastdays at the Temple in
Jerusalem the elderly Joachim brought his sacrifice to offer to God, but
the High Priest would not accept it, considering him to be unworthy
since he was childless.
St Joachim in deep grief went into the
wilderness, and there he prayed with tears to the Lord for a child. St
Anna wept bitterly when she learned what had happened at the Jerusalem
Temple. Never once did she complain against the Lord, but rather she
prayed to ask God’s mercy on her family.
The Lord fulfilled her
petitions when the pious couple had attained to extreme old age and
prepared themselves by virtuous life for a sublime calling: to be the
parents of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, the future Mother of the Lord
The Archangel Gabriel brought Joachim and Anna the
joyous message that their prayers were heard by God, and of them would
be born a most blessed daughter Mary, through Whom would come the
Salvation of all the World.