Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Virgin Mary
Father of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Confessor
Bornc. 75 BC
Nazareth, Hasmonean Judea
Diedc. 15 BC
Jerusalem, Herodian Kingdom of Judea
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
Feast26 July (Anglican Communion), (Catholic Church); 9 September (Eastern Orthodox Church), (Greek Catholics); Calendar, 1738-1913); 16 August (General Roman Calendar, 1913-1969)
AttributesLamb, doves, with Saint Anne or Mary
PatronageFathers, grandparents.
Adjuntas, Puerto Rico; Dolores, Eastern Samar; Fasnia (Tenerife)

Joachim (/ˈəkɪm/; Hebrew: יהויקים Yəhōyāqīm, "he whom Yahweh has set up"; Greek: Ἰωακείμ, romanizedIōākeím; Arabic: عمران, romanizedʿImrān) was, according to Christian tradition, the husband of Saint Anne and the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The story of Joachim and Anne first appears in the Biblical apocryphal Gospel of James.[1] His feast day is 26 July, a date shared with Saint Anne.

In Christian tradition

The story of Joachim, his wife Anne (or Anna), and the miraculous birth of their child Mary, the mother of Jesus, was told for the first time in the 2nd-century apocryphal infancy-gospel the Gospel of James (also called Protoevangelium of James). Joachim was a rich and pious man, who regularly gave to the poor. However, Charles Souvay, writing in the Catholic Encyclopedia, says that the idea that Joachim possessed large herds and flocks is doubtful.[2]

At the temple, Joachim's sacrifice was rejected, as the couple's childlessness was interpreted as a sign of divine displeasure. Joachim consequently withdrew to the desert, where he fasted and did penance for 40 days. Angels then appeared to both Joachim and Anne to promise them a child.[3]

Joachim later returned to Jerusalem and embraced Anne at the city gate, located in the Walls of Jerusalem. An ancient belief held that a child born of an elderly mother who had given up hope of having offspring was destined for great things. Parallels occur in the Old Testament in the case of Sarah, the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac, Hannah, the mother of Samuel,[4] and in the New Testament in the case of the parents of St John the Baptist.

The cycle of legends concerning Joachim and Anne was included in the Golden Legend (around 1260) by Jacobus de Voragine. This cycle remained popular in Christian art until the Council of Trent (1545–1563) restricted the depiction of apocryphal events.

No liturgical celebration of Saint Joachim was included in the Tridentine Calendar. It was added to the General Roman Calendar in 1584, for celebration on 20 March, the day after the feast day of Saint Joseph. In 1738, it was transferred to the Sunday within the Octave of the Assumption of Mary. As part of his effort to allow the liturgy of Sundays to be celebrated, Pope Pius X (term 1903–1914) transferred it to 16 August, the day after the Assumption, so Joachim may be remembered in the celebration of Mary's triumph.[5] It was then celebrated as a Double of the Second Class, a rank that was changed in 1960 to that of Second Class Feast. In the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, it was joined to that of Anne, for celebration on 26 July.[6]

12th-century German Nativity of Mary, with Joachim wearing a Jewish hat

The Eastern Orthodox Churches and Greek Catholics commemorate Joachim on 9 September, the Synaxis of Joachim and Anne, the day after the Nativity of the Theotokos.

Joachim is remembered (with Anne) in the Church of England with a Lesser Festival on 26 July.[7]


Joachim is named as the patron saint of fathers, grandfathers, grandparents, married couples, cabinet makers, and linen traders.[8]


Saint Joachim

In medieval art he often wears a conical Jewish hat. He is often treated as a saint, with a halo, but in the Western church there was some awareness that he had quite likely died too soon to strictly be counted as a Christian.

Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate was a popular subject in artistic renditions of the life of the Virgin.

Symbols associated with Saint Joachim include a book or scroll representing linen makers, a shepherd's staff for the Christian Word, and a basket of doves representing peace. He is almost always clothed in green, the color of hope.[8]

The name of the San Joaquin River dates to 1805–1808, when Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga was surveying east from Mission San José in order to find possible sites for a mission. The name was in common use by 1810.[9]

In Islam

For the father of Musa and Harun, see Amram § Arabic. For other uses, see Imran (disambiguation).


In Islam he is called Imran (Arabic: عمران, romanizedʿImrān), and one of his believed graves is in Salalah; which is claimed to be the "longest grave in the world" (12 metres).[10][11] According to the Quran in Al Imran Imran is the father of Maryam and grandfather of ʿIsa.

See also


  1. ^ Brownrigg, Ronald (September 2, 2003). Who's Who in the New Testament. New York: Routledge. p. 194. ISBN 978-1134509492.
  2. ^ Souvay, Charles. "St. Joachim." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 3 Aug. 2022 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ "Saint Joachim", World Meeting of Families, 2015 Archived 2016-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Vann, Joseph; Thomas Bernard Plassmann, eds. (1954). Lives of Saints, with Excerpts from Their Writings: Selected and Illustrated. John J. Crawley & Co. Retrieved July 11, 2020 – via EWTN].
  5. ^ Dom Gaspar LeFebvre, "The Saint Andrew Daily Missal, with Vespers for Sundays and Feasts," Saint Paul, MN: The E. M. Lohmann Co., 1952, p. 1513
  6. ^ Calendarium Romanum (in Latin). Typis Polyglottis. 1969. pp. 98, 135.
  7. ^ "The Calendar". The Church of England. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  8. ^ a b "St. Joachim, Father of the Most Blessed Virgin: Feast July 26th". St. Joachim Parish, Bellmawr, New Jersey. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  9. ^ Gudde, Erwin G.; Bright, William (February 10, 2010). California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names. University of California Press. p. 337. ISBN 978-0520266193.
  10. ^ Qur'an 3:42; cited in Stowasser, Barbara Freyer, "Mary", in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC.
  11. ^ "Nabi Umran Tomb in Salalah City - Religious Sites, Tourist Attractions." Beautiful Salalah,

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Joachim". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.