St. Joachim and St. Anne, Parents of the Virgin Mary, Protectors of the Order (M)
The names of the parents of Mary are known from the apocryphal “Proto-Gospel of James” (II century). The cult to Saint Anne is documented in the East in the VI century, in the West in the X century; that of Saint Joachim in the XIV century. In the Byzantine rite the 25 of July reminds us the dedication in Constantinople of a Basilica in honour of Saint Anne.
According to tradition, Saint Anne was born in Bethlehem, and married Joachim of Nazareth, both descendants of David. Together with her husband, Anne raised Mary to be a paragon of virtue and entrusted her to the temple as a child. It appears that she died at an advanced age. The same tradition tells of Joachim, a wealthy livestock owner whose marriage to Anne did not produce offspring until late. This was regarded as a lack of heavenly blessing, resulting in Joachim's sacrifice being refused at the temple. Remembering the son granted to Abraham late in life, Joachim resolved to go into the desert and fast for forty days. An angel appeared and told him of the birth of his daughter, and he went to meet his wife at the "Golden Gate" of Jerusalem.
The Carmelite Order celebrates, with special devotion its Saints, gathering in them the most living and genuine expression of the Charism and the spirituality of the Order throughout the centuries. The feast of the Protectors of the Order is celebrated with special solemnity that is the feast of Saints Joseph, Joachim and Anne.