Posted by: fvbcdm | July 26, 2013

Feast of Saints Ann and Joachim (26 July 2013)

Today the universal Church has the joy of celebrating Saints Ann and Joachim, the parents of our Blessed Mother and therefore the grandparents of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

We must always remember the tremendous privilege accorded to them by God, because it was as a result of their sexual love that Saint Ann conceived in her womb the future Mother of God.  And that conception was immaculate, so that the baby conceived in the womb of Saint Ann was “full of grace” and totally free from original sin.  

It has always caused me to wonder why so many (probably most) Catholics confuse the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady with her virginal conception of Our Divine Lord.  They are two separate events; the conceptions of mother and then son.  If you were to take a poll among Catholics at large, asking what the “Immaculate Conception” means, I think you’d be told by most of them that it means that Our Lady conceived Jesus without sexual union with a man.  And that is NOT what it means at all. I speak of this today because on this feast of Saints Ann and Joachim, we are honoring the couple through whose sexual union Mary was conceived, and was conceived without sin, that is, her soul and body were totally free of original sin and “full of grace” as the archangel was to describe her about 16 years later when Our Lady was a young woman and chosen to become the mother of the Redeemer. 

 It is certainly true that Our Lord Jesus was conceived without sin and that his conception was also immaculate, but we don’t refer to that event when we speak of the Immaculate Conception, and celebrate it on December 8th, nine months before the birthday of Our Lady on September 8th, the birthday of Mary.   

It is interesting, too, to notice that the most prominent shrine in the world to Saint Ann is the one called Sainte Anne de Beaupre, which is in Canada, just a few miles east of the city of Quebec.  And the most prominent shrine to Saint Joseph, the husband of Our Lady, is also located in the Province of Quebec, on the hill called Mount Royal in the city of Montreal. Thus the faith and devotion of French Canada have produced these two centers of prayer and pilgrimage and grace.

May the prayers of Saints Ann and Joachim increase your devotion to their daughter, Mary Immaculate, and their grandson, Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ.  Thank you for seeking God’s Truth.  God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago. 

 

 

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