"Joachim and Anne," says St. Epiphanes, "earned divine favour by an irreproachable life and merited that their union should bear for its beautiful fruit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the temple and Mother of God. Joachim, Anne, and Mary offered manifestly together a sacrifice of praise to the Holy Trinity. The name of Joachim signifies preparation of the Lord. Is it not he, in fact, who prepares the temple of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin?"
Wherefore, the Introit and Gradual enhance the virtues of this great Confessor and recall the frequent almsgiving of the saint, for, according to tradition, he divided what he had into three parts, of which the first was given to the temple and its ministers, the second to the poor, and the third was all he kept for himself.
"Most blessed couple," says in his turn St. John of Damascus, "the whole creation is in your debt. For it is through you that it has been enabled to offer the Creator a present above all presents, the chaste Mother, who alone was worthy of the Creator. Rejoice, Joachim, for unto us a Son is born of thy daughter." And the Gospel selected shows us the royal lineage of this Son, for by his marriage with Mary, daughter of Joachim or Heliachim, Joseph, son of Jacob, made Jesus the legal heir of David. As grace perfects nature without destroying it, it may be affirmed that Joachim, united like St. Joseph and St. Anne by a very intimate tie to the Mother of God and her Son, is called to exercise his perpetual patronage (Collect) with regard to the Church, the body of Christ, or with regard to our souls of which Mary is mother.
Let us, on this day, offer to God the Holy Sacrifice in honour of the Holy Patriarch Joachim, father of the Virgin Mary, in order that his prayer, added to that of his spouse and of their blessed child, may obtain the full remission of our sins and eternal glory (Secret)
Dispersit, dedit pauperibus: justitia ejus manet in saeculum saeculi: cornu ejus exaltabitur in gloria. * Beatus vir, qui timet Dominum: in mandatis ejus cupit nimis.
He hath distributed, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever and ever: his horn shall be exalted in glory. * Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he delighteth exceedingly in His commandments.
(Psalm 101:9,1 from the introit of Mass)
Deus, qui prae omnibus Sanctis tuis beatum Joachim Genitricis Filii tui patrem esse voluisti: concede, quaesumus; ut, cujus festa veneramur, ejus quoque perpetuo patrocinia sentiamus.
O God, who of all Thy saints didst choose blessed Joachim to be father to the Mother of Thy Son; grant, we beseech Thee, that we who keep his feast-day, may ever experience his patronage.
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