The first time I remember learning about St. Anne was when I was in the fourth grade and I had to write a short paper on whichever saint I wanted. I chose St. Anne since we shared the same name. I actually recently got to reread the paper I wrote, and in it, I said, “Anne was a holy woman who kept praying even when it seemed useless.” To me, she’s the patron saint of doing so.
St. Anne and her husband suffered from infertility for years before they were able to conceive. But from what we know about Sts. Anne and Joachim (which is only through tradition and legend, so it’s not very much and it’s hard to know if it’s entirely true), we’ve been told that they continued to be faithful and continued to pray during that time. The remained faithful during that time of not yet, that time of waiting, that time of preparation.
The Mom and Dad of Our Mom
And I’m sure the preparation couldn’t have been rushed, because they were preparing for something that changed the course of their lives and our entire world. They were preparing for the conception, birth, and raising of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Even if we don’t really know much about Sts. Anne and Joachim, we can infer from the fact that they were the parents of the mother of God that they were holy people, hopeful people, and praying people.
Sts. Anne and Joachim and Waiting
I love the story of their waiting because it’s such a strong reminder to me that the time we spend waiting for our prayers to be answered is not wasted time or a stagnant time. It’s a time full of hope with what the Lord has in store for us. It’s time that we can work on abandoning ourselves to His will and seeking it out every single day.
I like the way Henri Nouwen wrote about waiting. He said that a waiting person is a patient person, and that the word “patience” means “the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.”
He also specified that, “waiting is never a movement from nothing to something. It is always a movement from something to something more.”
That last note especially tells me that as I wait for X, Y or Z, that this time has purpose — and that I do too, as I wait.
Living with Christ in the Present Moment
So the feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim represents for me a day to live fully in the present moment, even if it’s not what I wish it were. This feast day reminds me to live through this present moment with hope, which is when we place our trust in God’s promises and rely on His strength, and not on our own.
If you’re waiting for His answer to your prayer or if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut just waiting for something or someone, I want to nudge you a little closer to our grandmother today, St. Anne, and her husband, St. Joachim. Like all grandparents, I trust that they want what’s best for us, that they adore us, and that they are talking all about us to our Lord.
We have so many great saints to call on for intercession, and for hope and in times of waiting, I think of St. Anne and St. Joachim first.
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Annie Deddens is a writer and producer. She runs a prayer ministry with her husband, called Pray More Novenas. She has a heart for the sick & suffering, and she writes about living with greater faith (hope & love, too) in this imperfect world as a Catholic wife on her blog. You can find out more about her here.