July 26th is the feast day of both St. Anne and St. Joachim.
St. Anne – Mother of Mary
The devotion to St. Anne is widespread and dates from at least the sixth century, when a church was dedicated under her invocation at Constantinople. We venerate this Saint chiefly because of her intimate relationship with Christ Incarnate, through her daughter: Mary Immaculate. In the West, her feast was authorized in 1378 and its date fixed in 1584. By her intercession, God has performed countless miracles at the many shrines in which her relics are preserved. The American National Shrine of St. Anne is situated at East Twelfth Street in New York City, where her clients daily may be found praying before her relic there exposed. In Canada, at the well-known shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre, countless ill and crippled persons have been cured of their ailments. In paying devotion to St. Anne we honor Mary, whom she bore.
St. Joachim – Father of Mary
Tradition tells us that St. Joachim was a man of such justice and charity that he divided his income into three parts: the first to be given to the Temple, the second to be used for the relief of the poor, the third for his sustenance. His function as an agent in the preparation of Mary, who was destined to be the living temple of the God-Man, is symbolized by his name, which means “preparation of the Lord.” The honor paid by us to the Saints actually is honor paid to Jesus Christ, the King of Saints, and this especially is true of St. Joachim. His close relationship to our Lord, and to our Lady, assured their deep affection for him. In venerating him, we follow in their footsteps. We should imitate St. Joachim’s example by showing the deepest love and devotion toward Jesus and Mary. We should ask his prayers that greater family loyalty and understanding may characterized all Christians.
Happy Feast Day!