Joachim (whose name means Yahweh prepares), was the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grandfather of Our Lord, and husband of St. Anne. His feast day is August 16th, the day after the Assumption.

Joachim was from his youth brought up in piety and the fear of God. The parents of the Blessed Virgin, who, first lived in Galilee, came later on to settle in Jerusalem, where Mary would be born. A church, known at various epochs as St. Mary, St. Mary ubi nata est, St. Mary in Probatica, Holy Probatica, St. Anne, was built during the fourth century, possibly by St. Helena, on the site of the house of St. Joachim and St. Anne, and their tombs were there honoured until the close of the ninth century, when the church was converted into a Moslem school. The crypt which formerly contained the holy tombs was rediscovered on 18 March, 1889.

This holy couple divided all their goods into three parts. One for the temple, one for the poor, and one for themselves.  But Joachim’s married life with the pious aud chaste Ann was childless until they had reached a great age.  Desipite their generous alms, Joachim was afraid their childlessness was a sign of God’s displeasure with him, so he departed from Anne for a time to pray and fast. While away, they both received a message from an angel that Anne had already conceived a child. Joachim’s continual prayer and other good works were the rewarded by God with that blessed child whose birth was the beginning of our salvation. He reared her in the fear of the Lord, offered her in her tenderest years to God in the temple at Jerusalem, and soon after gave up his spirit into the hands of his Creator. Oh, that all Christian parents might learn from the parents of Mary to train up their children, not for the world, but for God, from Whom they have received them, and Who will one day require them again from their hands!

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