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Saint Joachim

Saint Joachim
  • Century: 1st Century
  • Patronage: Fathers, Grandfathers, Grandparents, Married Couples, Cabinet Makers
  • Feast Day: July 26th

St. Joachim is regarded as the father of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.  Tradition has it that St. Joachim was a retired Priest or Holy man of his time.  

In the Catholic tradition, St. Joachim is the Patron Saint of Fathers, Grandfathers, Grandparents, Married Couples, and Cabinet Makers.  He is shown in old art forms always as an old man, often in the company of his wife Anne, the mother of Mary.  The traditional tomb of St. Anne and St. Joachim was rediscovered in Jerusalem in 1889, and both share the feast day of July 26th.  

St. Joachim and his wife Anne were in the decline of life when Mary was born.  Tradition says that while Joachim was away from home, he had a vision that Anne was to be blessed with a child.  When he returned home, his wife ran to tell of the visitation of an angel who had revealed to her the same good news.  It is also tradition that St. Joachim had given Mary to the service of the Temple when the girl was only three years old. 

St. Joachim in neither mentioned in historical or canonical writings, but is still widely revered and is the namesake of many church institutions.  The only source of information about St. Joachim is the non-biblical Gospel of James, an apocryphal book that was nonetheless widely read.  In the 1500 – 1600’s, St. Joachim’s image appeared on many European coins including the famous Joachim’s Taler, a silver coin in Bohemia in about 1520.  Some of those coins are still around today, in the hands of collectors.  The name Joachim in Hebrew means, “God Prepares”.  

Practical Take Away

We know St. Joachim as the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Although little is actually known about this saint, one can imagine the love he had for his child, who came late in life for he and St. Anne.  Also one can meditate on the struggles that he would face, as this girl would grow up to be chosen by God to be the mother of our Savior.  The tradition tells us he was a Priest or Holy man of God, and much can be taken from that.  We too, may not always know what God may have in store for us – but one thing is for sure, if we stay close to God, serve him with all our strength, we too can merit life eternal like St. Joachim.