Saints Alive! | St. Anne and St. Joachim

It was in the home of Joachim and Ann where the Virgin Mary received her training to be the Mother of God. Thus, devotion to Ann and Joachim is an extension of the affection Christians have always professed toward our Blessed Mother. At one time, July 26 was the feast of St. Anne only, but with the new calendar the two feasts of the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary have been joined and are celebrated today. Our information about Mary's parents comes from an apocryphal Christian writing, the Protoevangelium Jacobi (or Gospel of James), written about the year 170. According to this story, Joachim was a prominent and respected man who had no children, and he and his wife, Anne, looked upon this as a punishment from God. In answer to their prayers, Mary was born and was dedicated to God at a very early age. Anne is often shown in paintings with Jesus and Mary and is considered a subject that attracts attention, since Anne is the grandmother of Jesus. Her two great shrines — that of Ste. Anne d'Auray in Britanny, France, and that of Ste. Anne de Beaupre near Quebec in Canada — are very popular. We know little else about the lives of Mary's parents, but considering the person of Mary, they must have been two very remarkable people to have been given such a daughter and to have played so important a part in the work of the Redemption. There is a church of St. Anne in Jerusalem and it is believed to be built on the site of the home of SS. Joachim and Anne, when they lived in Jerusalem. Note: the above is excerpted from "The One Year Book of Saints" by Rev. Clifford Stevens. For more about this great saint family, the grandparents of Jesus, please click on the image. Peace be with you!

Heroic Priesthood | Fr. Jacques Hamel: Martyr

Six years ago today, Catholic priest, Father Jacques Hamel, was assassinated at the foot of the altar as he was celebrating Mass with his parishioners. On the morning of July 26, 2016, two 19-year old Islamic State radicals stormed Father Hamel's church. Just before having his throat cut, witnesses recount Father Hamel told one of his assailants, "Be gone, Satan!" Minutes later the 85-year old Catholic priest whose throat was slit before the altar died at the scene. For more about this Catholic priest, martyr for the Faith, please click on the image. Peace be with you!