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SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Joachim, Father of the Most Blessed Virgin

St. Joachim was the ever-chaste husband of St. Anne, the mother of our Blessed Virgin. Though advanced in years, Sts. Joachim and Anne remained fervent in their prayers to be blessed with a child. God was pleased with their devotion and chose to bless them with a miraculous conception, long past child-bearing years, as a result of their love of Him and love of each other. Tradition teaches that while Joachim was away from home, an angel of God appeared to him in a vision. This angel promised that he and Saint Anne would bear a child who would be blessed through the ages. Upon waking from this vision, St. Joachim rushed home to share his excitement with his beloved wife. She was there to greet him, only to reveal the same good tidings as she was promised in another visitation from God's messenger.

What indescribably sweet happiness must have existed in their hearts to know God was granting them such a blessing! In gratitude and devotion to their Lord, St. Joachim delivered Mary to the service of the Temple when she was just three years old. As a result of his exemplary love, devotion, and obedience to the Will of the Father, St. Joachim was named Patron of fathers, grandfathers, grandparents, married couples, cabinet makers, and linen traders. He is shown in art forms as an older man, often in the company of his beloved wife, St. Anne, and sometimes with the Blessed Mother and Jesus. Images of Saint Joachim are often identified by the presence of his associated symbols. A book or scroll represents linen makers, a shepherd's staff for the Christian world, and a basket of doves represents peace. He is almost always dressed in green, the color of hope.

Prayer to Saint Joachim

O great and glorious Patriarch, Saint Joachim, what joy is mine when I consider that thou wast chosen among all God's holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy! By this singular privilege, thou hast become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us; with great confidence I have recourse to thy mighty protection and I commend to thee all my needs and those of my family, both spiritual and temporal; and especially do I entrust to thy keeping the particular favor that I desire and look for from thy fatherly intercession. And since thou wast a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace of interior recollection and a spirit of detachment from the transitory goods of this life, together with a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me in like manner a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy Church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her: to the end that I may live and die in faith and hope and perfect charity, ever invoking the holy names of Jesus and Mary, and may I thus be saved. Amen.

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