On the Feast of the Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, July 26, 2019: Did They Know?

Note: The names of Saints Joachim and Anne, not mentioned in the Bible, are found only in the Gospel of James, an apocryphal work (meaning a text of doubtful authenticity), written around 150 C.E., purportedly by James, the brother of Jesus.

Sts. Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate (1605), Eugenio Caxés (1574-1634)

A couple, bracing
at news of a coming birth,
in earthbound, mindful unknowing,
yet, with uplifted eye,
an angelic sign,
with boundless, soulful believing…

but did (could) they know
that the (their) one to come,
odd, too,
with a birth to be foretold
by a messenger whose strength was God,(1)
would bear the One to come
as Liberator of the world?

(1) “Man of God” or “strength is God” is the meaning of Gabriel; the name of the angel who announced to Mary, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you…you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1.28b, 31-33)

Illustration: Saints Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate (1605), Eugenio Caxés (1574-1634) Note: Caxés depicts Joachim and Anne meeting at the Golden Gate of Jerusalem having learned, via the agency of an angel, a divine messenger, that Anne will bear a child, who would become Mary, the mother of Jesus.

2 thoughts on “On the Feast of the Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, July 26, 2019: Did They Know?

  1. With all my moving of my stuff to the basement I missed responding to this somehow…

    Did they know???? Hmmm, maybe just the fact that they Believed the angelic sign was enough for them. If they had known I would think they’d have some fear of trepidation of what was to come? How could anyone even prepare themselves or the world for the birth that was to come? Were it me I would want to say, please choose someone else as I’d be worried the task would be too much for me.

    Much love!


  2. Loretta, though I believe the story of Sts. Joachim and Anne is the stuff of legend (for, I think that we humans always are interested in origins; hence, if there was a Jesus who is proclaimed Savior of the world and he had a mother whose name was Mary, then who were her parents?), the details bear the material of life in this world – that is, surprise at an announcement, in this case, of a coming birth (perhaps one not expected), joy, and wonderment.

    Regarding the wonderment, as that now well-known contemporary carol, “Mary, Did You Know?”, poses the question whether she knew her son, Jesus, was destined to die and be raised as Liberator of all, so, I, in this post, also musing, placed the question a generation back to her parents…

    which leads me to wonder about any of us at any time. No, not whether we’ll be the physical bearers of a child, but rather, at least, in my case, as I ponder my Christian-walk with Jesus, do I know that I, daily, am to bear him and his Spirit alive in my being and doing? Yes, I believe I know that. Now, will I?



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