Saturday, August 15, 2009
August 16 is the traditional feast day of Saint Joachim, father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Joachim is believed to have been a native of Nazareth, and according to the Protoevangelium of James, Saints Anne and Joachim could not conceive a child, so Joachim went into the desert to fast and pray for forty days. An angel of the Lord then came to him and told him that his wife would conceive a child. There is a tradition that says Our Lady was conceived in a miraculous manner when Saints Anne and Joachim embraced beneath the Golden Gate at the Temple upon his return from the desert. It is believed that Saint Joachim witnessed the Presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple and that he died soon afterwards.
Note: the Protoevangelium of James is a very interesting read. The link I used is from New Advent and it is a fascinating one page story.