An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

St. Joachim and St. Anne: saintly witnesses to marriage

Who are the saints featured in the Marriage: Unique for a Reason logo…and why were they chosen? Let us explain:

Saints Joachim and Anne are the father and mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary is the fruit of their marriage. By a singular grace of God in view of the merits of Jesus, she was preserved from all stain of Original Sin from the moment of her conception. Thus it is in the context of married life and conjugal love that Mary is prepared to receive the Divine Logos, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus is the Logos, the “Reason” at the heart of all reason and truth, including the truth of marriage. The marriage between Joachim and Anne is a significant witness to why marriage is “unique for a reason” (from the home page, emphasis added).

St. Joachim and St. Anne provide for us an example of holiness (see CCC, no. 2030) and as a married couple, they provide in a particular way an example of holiness as a married couple. The portion of the mosaic featured at the top of the website brings out the beauty of marriage’s unity, depicted here as the intimate face-to-face encounter between husband and wife. And in the larger version of the mosaic found on the old USCCB defense of marriage site, the river that streams behind St. Joachim and St. Anne recalls their fruitfulness, the life-giving love that took form in their daughter Mary, the mother of our Redeemer.

St. Joachim and St. Anne serve as inspiring models of a holy marriage and as the informal “patron saints” of the Marriage: Unique for a Reason initiative. We ask for their intercession in the defense of marriage prayer: Sts. Joachim and Anne, pray for us!

Read about other married saints and blesseds throughout history.

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