Spirituality for Today – July 2012 – Volume 16, Issue 12

Saint of the Month
St. Joachim

July 26

A painting of Saint JoachimSt. Joachim

Joachim lived in the first century B.C. He was the father of Mary and the grandfather of Jesus. Much of Joachim's story comes from tradition, and it remains a valuable lesson in humility and patience.

According to centuries-old tradition, Joachim and his wife, Anne, had long prayed for a family but they were still childless as they approached old age. In Joachim's time, people believed that being childless was God's punishment for living an unworthy life, and it is likely that Joachim was ridiculed. One day, a priest in the temple actually rejected Joachim's offering because he had no children.

Joachim was so distraught, he could not go home. So, instead, he pitched a tent in the desert and fasted and prayed for 40 days in a final appeal to God.

Anne, concerned that she had lost her husband, was praying at home when suddenly an angel appeared and told her she would be blessed with a child. At the same time, an angel came to Joachim and revealed that God had heard his prayer and his wife would indeed conceive.

When Joachim returned, Anne ran to meet him at the city's gate. The excited couple told each other the angels' joyous news, and the next day, Joachim's offerings were accepted at the temple. Nine months later, Anne gave birth to Mary, who was considered by all to be a special favor from God.

A humble man who was driven to despair, Joachim was chosen by God to play a role in bringing His greatest gift to the world. More importantly, Joachim's example served as inspiration and instilled in Mary the patience and humility she would need to be the mother of God.

Lord, we ask your blessing for grandparents
for their wisdom, patience and love
as they gently guide us along life's path.
Whether they quietly support us from afar
or stand nearby with a shoulder to lean on,
we are grateful for their enduring presence.
And when they are no longer with us
may their smile and touch linger in our memory.


From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives