Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Saint Joachim. Feast Day 16 August.

Text from "The Liturgical Year",
by Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B.

Saint Joachim.
Father of The Blessed Virgin Mary.
Feast Day 16 August.

Double of The Second-Class.

White Vestments.

Stained-Glass Window,
depicting Saint Joachim,
in Saint Mary's Church,
Buttevant, County Cork, Ireland.
Window created by James Watson & Co.,
Youghal, County Cork.
Photo: 8 September 2012.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

From time immemorial, the Greeks have celebrated The Feast of Saint Joachim on the day following Our Lady's Birthday. The Maronites kept it on the day after The Presentation in November, and the Armenians on the Tuesday after The Octave of The Assumption of The Mother of God. The Latins, at first, did not keep this Feast.

Later on, it was admitted and Celebrated sometimes on the day after The Octave of The Nativity, 16 September, sometimes on the day following The Conception of The Blessed Virgin, 9 December. Thus, both East and West agreed in associating Saint Joachim with his illustrious daughter when they wished to do him honour.

About the year 1510, Pope Julius II placed the Feast of the Grand-Father of The Messias upon The Roman Calendar with the Rank of Double-Major; and, remembering that family, in which the ties of nature and of Grace were in such perfect harmony, he fixed the Solemnity on 20 March, the day after that of his Son-in-Law, Saint Joseph.

The life of the glorious Patriarch resembled those of the first Fathers of the Hebrew people; and it seemed as though he were destined to imitate their wanderings also, by continually changing his place upon The Sacred Cycle.

English: Saint Bartholomew Parish Church, Bad Leonfelden, Austria.
Gothic-Revival Stained-Glass Window (1900) showing 
Saint Joachim and Saint Anne teaching The Blessed Virgin Mary.
Deutsch: Bad Leonfelden ( Oberösterreich ). Pfarrkirche St. Bartholomäus: Neogotisches Buntglasfenster (1900) mit St.Joachim und St.Anna beim Unterricht der Jungfrau Maria.
Photo: 4 May 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Wolfgang Sauber.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Hardly fifty years after the Pontificate of Pope Julius II, the critical spirit of the day cast doubts upon the history of Saint Joachim, and his name was erased from The Roman Breviary. Pope Gregory XV, however, re-established his Feast in 1622 as a Double, and The Church has since continued to Celebrate it.

Devotion to Our Lady's Father continuing to increase very much, The Holy See was petitioned to make his Feast a Holiday of Obligation, as it had already made that of his spouse, Saint Anne. In order to satisfy the Devotion of the people, without increasing the number of Days of Obligation, Pope Clement XII, in 1738, Transferred The Feast of Saint Joachim to the Sunday after The Assumption of his daughter, The Blessed Virgin Mary, and restored to it the Rank of Double-Major.

On 1 August 1879, The Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Leo XIII, who received the name of Joachim in Baptism, raised both the Feast of his glorious Patron, and that of Saint Anne, to the Rank of Double of The Second-Class.

English: Guémené-Penfao Church, Loire-Atlantique, France.
Français: Eglise de Guémené-Penfao - Loire-Atlantique.
Photo: 15 January 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Selbymay.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following is an extract from The Decree, "Urbi et Orbi", announcing this decision with regard to the said Feasts: "Ecclesiasticus teaches us that we ought to praise our fathers in their generation; what great honour and Veneration ought we then to render to Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, who begot The Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and are, on that account, more glorious than all others."

"By your fruits are you known," says Saint John Damascene; "you have given birth to a daughter who is greater than the Angels and has become their Queen." Now since, through The Divine Mercy, in our unhappy times, the honour and worship paid to The Blessed Virgin Mary is increasing in proportion to the increasing needs of the Christian people, it is only right that the new glory, which surrounds their Blessed daughter, should redound upon her happy parents.

May this increase of Devotion towards them cause The Church to experience still more their powerful protection.

English: Chapel of Saint Joachim,
Varennes, Quebec,
Français: Chapelle Saint-Joachim,
érigée en 1832, à Varennes, Québec.
Photo: 29 December 2010.
Source: Varennes, Québec. Uploaded by Skeezix1000.
Author: Gilles Douaire from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Wikimedia Commons)

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