July 26 is the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anna, the father and mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Under the traditional calendar, July 26 belonged to Saint Anna alone, but we shouldn't think of the addition of Saint Joachim to the feast in the current calendar as affirmative action for men. Like Saint Joseph and Saint Mary, Joachim and Anna are models of family life from which we can all learn. Blessed with a child late in life, they dedicated the Blessed Virgin to the service of God, thus setting the stage for Mary's own fiat—her acceptance of God's plan to make her the mother of His Son.
Saints Joachim and Anna, pray for us!
(Stained-glass window of The Blessed Virgin Mary as a Baby With Saints Joachim and Anna, in Saint Mary Cathedral, Lansing, Michigan. Photo © Scott P. Richert)