Posted by: fvbcdm | July 26, 2012

Feast of Saints Ann and Joachim (26 July 2012)

Today my thoughts go back to July 26, 1965, when I was studying French at Laval University in Quebec City in Canada.  I was disappointed to find out that the University would not celebrate the feast of Saint Ann as a holiday, despite the fact that just a few miles downriver from the campus there is the world’s greatest shrine to Saint Ann, which is called Saint Anne de Beaupre.  I wasn’t going to allow all the beauty of the liturgy at the basilica of Saint Anne de Beaupre to pass me by, so I “played hookey” from my classes that July 26th, and went out to Beaupre.  The cardinal-archbishop of Quebec presided and there were other prelates, bishops, abbots, and lots of religious and priests there, with standing room only inside the basilica.

The next day, one of my teachers, who knew where I had been the day before, said to me impishly, “We missed you yesterday, mon Pere.”  I just grinned and said “Merci” without any further comment. We must remember when we celebrate Saint Ann, the mother of Our Blessed Lady and therefore the grandmother of Our Lord, that it was in the body of Saint Ann that the conception of Our Lady took place.  Within the womb of Saint Ann, the little girl named Mary was conceived without original sin.  This is what we mean by the Immaculate Conception.  A few years later, when this child, sinless from the very moment of her conception, was a teenage girl, the great moment of the Annunciation took place when Our Divine Lord was conceived within her womb without the cooperation of a human father.  So today we celebrate a couple—Ann and Joachim—who became the parents of a daughter conceived within the body of Saint Ann without original sin.  And that little girl grew to conceive a son without a human father.  Her conception of that son makes her the Mother of Jesus, and the Mother of God.   Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

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