St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Nazareth, a little town in Galilee. His parents, though occupying an humble position in the world, were descendants of the holy king David. It was not without inspiration that, at his circumcision, the name of Joachim was given him; it means “Preparation for the Lord,” or, as others translate it, a preparation for the arrival of the Lord; and it has been understood by several teachers to signify that he would have a daughter whom he would prepare, by a holy education, to be the dwelling of the Redeemer of the world. Arriving at the years of manhood, he married Anna, a virtuous and chaste maiden of Bethlehem, whom, without doubt, God had gifted with especial graces, as she was chosen by Him to be the Mother of the Queen of Heaven.
Joachim and Anna continued, after their union, to serve God with the greatest fidelity. The most perfect charity and harmony reigned in their dwelling. They had divided their possessions into three parts. The first they devoted exclusively to the honor of God and to the adornment of the temple; the second, to the poor; and the third they kept for themselves. One thing saddened the lives of Joachim and Anna. They had been married many years without being blessed with a child, and their advancing age made them despair of ever having one. Barrenness was, among their people and at their time, considered a great disgrace and a curse from Heaven, and Joachim lived under that cross for many years. He never ceased to implore God with tears, prayers and fasts, to remove it from him; but it seemed that he was not heard, which gave him great grief. He, however, never murmured against the Almighty, but, submitting to His will, continued his prayer. It is also believed, that he and his spouse made a vow, that if they were blessed with a child, they would consecrate it to His service. Continue reading