July 26: Feast of Saint Anne and Saint Joachim

July 26th marks the feast of Saint Anne and Saint Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and therefore grandparents of Jesus. Most of what we believe to know about Saint Anne and Saint Joachim comes to us through legend and tradition as nothing is said of them in the Gospels. Joachim belonged to the tribe of Judah and the house of David.  Tradition declares that Joseph and Anne both came from Galilee and lived in Nazareth.  Anne and Joachim were barren until old age when they were visited by an angel and told they would bear a child (recalling the experience of Hannah when she conceived Samuel in 1 Kings).  When Mary was born, they dedicated her to God.

Even though specific facts of their lives are lacking, we honor them because Mary was immaculately conceived in Anne’s womb and mother and father so nurtured Mary’s faith that she responded with a resounding and courageous yes when asked to become the mother of God.  Saints Anne and Joachim can be models for all Christian parents seeking to raise their children to love and honor God.

Honoring Grandparents   

Anne and Joachim are the patron saints of grandmothers and grandfathers respectively. (The moniker “Nanna” given to many grandmothers is a derivative of “Anne”.)  July 26th seems a perfect day to do something special for grandparents!  A basket of flowers or a homemade card would be lovely.

Joanna Boggle suggests in A Yearbook of Seasons and Celebrations that a fruit pie is the traditional dish of this feast day because of all the fruit ripening right now.  What a perfect reason to go fruit picking as a family (bring the grandparents if you can!) and do some baking with the kiddlies!  In my home we plan to make a family tea from a recipe for “Clafouti” (a French fruit pie) found in Bogle’s book.  I found several other recipes for Clafouti on-line but Bogle’s was the most simple so I’ll give it a go:


cherry clafouti


  • 2 eggs
  • 5 oz flour
  • 1 C milk
  • 4 oz of cream
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • Ripe plums or cherries with stones removed (or other suitable fruit such as apricots or blackberries)

Beat the eggs and fold in the flour and sugar, adding the milk and cream and beating it to a smooth batter.

Grease a wide flat dish with butter and place the fruit on the bottom, lying it flat.  Pour the batter on top and bake in a moderate (350° – 375°) oven until the top is golden brown and the batter is firmly set.  Serve hot or cold with thick whipped cream.


Anything with whipped cream on top will be a hit in my home!

Ideas for the table: Queen Anne’s lace, Anne & Joachim prayer cards, the colors red and green (colors associated with Saint Anne), the Bible (Saint Anne is often depicted holding the Bible), and chocolate kisses (Saint Joachim is often depicted kissing Saint Anne).


St. Anne Chaplet: If you purchase a St. Anne chaplet (prayer beads) it’ll come with instructions for the prayers, a combination of Our Fathers, Hail Marys, and prayers to St. Anne.

Here’s a traditional prayer for the day:

Prayer for the Feast of Saint Anne & Saint Joachim:  Lord, God of our fathers, through Saints Joachim and Anne You gave us the Mother of Your Incarnate Son. May their prayers help us to attain the salvation You promised to Your people. Amen.

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2 thoughts on “July 26: Feast of Saint Anne and Saint Joachim

  1. Just checking in on you and family. Saw that today is a special day and wanted to say Hi! from the “other Grandma”! Sounds like you are very busy getting ready for the school year and it reflects what a strong woman and mother you are.

    Tami and her family have been with us all week and have been spending alot of time at the lake. They will leave today and return in two week. She has the kids enrolled in bible school here, so they will be back for at least another week. Summer breaks at Grandma and Grandpa’s!
    Love to all!

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