The lives and names of Saints Joachim and Anne, who are known as the parents of Mary and grandparents of Jesus Christ, are derived from non-canonical, or apocryphal, literature. This includes the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, and the Protoevangelium of James. It’s important to note that the earliest version of the Protoevangelium, which seems to be the primary source for the other two, dates back to around 150 AD. However, we should approach its assertions with a degree of skepticism given that they are based solely on this text.

In the Eastern tradition, the Protoevangelium was highly respected, and parts of it were read during the feasts of Mary by the Greeks, Syrians, Copts, and Arabians. However, the Western Church Fathers initially rejected it until the 13th century when its contents were incorporated into Jacobus de Voragine’s “Golden Legend”. After this point, the story of St. Anne became widely known across the West and she evolved into one of the Latin Church’s most venerated saints.

The Protoevangelium provides the following narrative: Joachim and Anne, a wealthy and devout couple, lived in Nazareth but were childless. On a feast day, when Joachim went to the temple to offer a sacrifice, he was turned away by a man named Ruben, who claimed that childless men were unworthy of admission. This left Joachim feeling deep sorrow, and he retreated to the mountains to lament in solitude.

Meanwhile, Anne learned why her husband had been absent for so long. In her distress, she pleaded with the Lord to lift the curse of barrenness from her, vowing to dedicate her future child to God’s service. Their prayers were heard, and an angel appeared to both of them. The angel told Anne, “The Lord has seen your tears; you will conceive and give birth, and your child will be a blessing for the entire world.” The same promise was given to Joachim, who then returned to his wife. When Anne gave birth to a girl, they named her Miriam, which is another name for Mary.

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  1. If you want to know more about St Joachim & Ann, then read this wonderful series of books (approved by the church and obtain through Tan Books) “The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations” by Anne Catherine Emmerich. Totally worth the price of the books! Makes you want to read Scripture more!

  2. nice to know a little story about the parents of mama mary. I attended mass on their feast, and asked guidance from them so that can I be a good parent to my children. thanks!

    • tnx for the’s good to know how they were blessed with a child…may we learn and continue increase our faith in the almigthy Father…

  3. Jesus’ background is of the saint, never knew and thought Mary mother of Jesus is the only child of her parent and since Jesus Christ is the only child of Joseph and Mary, that means their generation end there

    • Mary & Joseph had James, John and Jose I believe, and Jesus also had several natural not step or older siblings (all born after Jesus) in fact James Jesus Brother was Myrtred in 44 AD, he was the head of the Jerusalem Church! Peter reported to the Jerusalem Council which made him (Peter) subsurbiant to James MAKING JAMES & NOT PETER the first Pope & Leader of the Christian Church. All references found in Matthew, Mark, Like, John and The Acts of the Apostles in the Bible.

      • Gary…………Sorry Gary, but you are wrong! You need to do more studying. What you have learned, so far, is totally wrong. Jesus never had any biological siblings. The Virgin Mary stayed chaste, all her earthly life. Joseph was a much older man, and he knew the Virgin body was carrying God the Son, in His Humanity. And, Jesus Himself named Peter, (the Rock) and made him 1st Pope of the Catholic Church. You must be a Presbyterian, because, I do believe that religion says James was the first Pope. James wasn’t even called “pope”, and has not been called pope, to this day. There hasn’t even been a pope, that took the name of James, to this day. So buttercup, you need to read much, much more, and get your facts straight.

  4. This article makes it appear that Mary was the only child of Joachim and Anne. They had an older daughter, named Mary Heli, who was the mother of Mary Cleophas. There were 20 years between the births of their two daughters.

  5. Interesting read the various views but I DO BELIEVE THAT MARY WAS THE ONLY CHILD OF STS JOACHIM AND
    ANNE you know its good to have the different vies but it can be quite puzzling for those who are still uncertain about their faith

  6. sna po mtpos n problema ko s mga gmot risdin n green rivotril syclop xanor serenace akineton akidin ziproc altrox vit ni kuya emil tolanz pls sna wg n po un gmulo s isip ko pls sna wla n bmulong kalain bakekang panget pg umiinom ako gmot umaga at gabi pls sna wg n tmambay s lbas cla gami aldrin chris kalbo pls sana tmhmk n pristina pls sna wg n kmi mgkailangan ni pyt pls sna wg n rn sna sya mglakwatsa pls sna umuwi n sya maaga plgi pls sna wg nko mlgsan ng ngipin kht kelan pls sna wg nko mhilo mtrnta matense kht kelan pls sna wg nko guluhin ng taong nkklsmuha ko pls sna mgnda araw ko plgi pls sna mklipat nko trece pls sna ready sna mkbyd kmi monthly trece pls sna mgswa nmn kaklakwatsa cla pyt at manas pls tska lng pglpt ko trece pls sna mtgl p mgpbkod c kalbo pls sna wg n rn sna sya mgitara lbas nla pls sna wg n rn sya mgybng kotse nya pls sna wg n rn sna sya tmambay lbas nla pls sna mka di out ako pg umiinom ako gmot o vit aalis man ako o hndi pls sna dmtng n bkas stock ng nokia 3310 s argomall pls sna may mgback out sna mpnta skn pls sna may pasok bkas pls sana tmhmk n pristina pls sna mkmove on nko pls sna pumogi nko sna mkpgwork nko sna tmawag n camella pls sna mgnda araw ko bkas ptwd po s lht ng kslanan ko tnx amen

  7. We finished today’s novena and will be attending mass tomorrow to celebrate the Eucharistic adoration.

    Thank you God and Jesus and Mary for bringing us people who dedicate themselves in the service of others.


  8. Dear St. Anne, You know what it’s like to be barren. Please intercede with Our Lord for my friend’s daughter, R., who is having problems conceiving a child with her husband. Please ask Him to grant R. and her husband a healthy baby. I ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

  9. This post raises the question about “apocryphal literature.” Since this was posted on a “Catholic” site, what is to be believed and what is not to be believed? Where is that line drawn about “apocryphal literature”

  10. Saint Anne de Beaupré, pray for us. Saint Joachim pray for us. Saint Joseph, protect Canada, as its patron saint. Saint (Brother) André Bessette, bring purity of heart and mind and body to the Faithful. Holy Mary, help the helpless. Amen.

    • Saints Anne and Joachim, grant abundant graces through the Novena completed yesterday on the vigil of your holy feastday. Bless my twin sons baptized on this day in 1998. Reinforce Faith teaching through grandparents and parents. Bring consolation to those persecuted priests and laity who suffer in silence. Amen.

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