FEAST OF SAINT ANN
4You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; 5you shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; 6but showing love* down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
It is very important to remember that the sins of previous generations can be visited upon the present generation, as well as our sins today being visited on future generations. The Bible says in Exodus 20:5 (where God gives us His First Commandment to have no strange gods before Him), Exodus 34:7, Numbers 14:18, & Deuteronomy 5:9, that the punishment for sins can be given to the 3rd and 4th succeeding generations.
· 1 Kings 11:11-12: Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.
· You may want to think about that while you are considering committing a mortal sin. Do you really want the punishment for your sin given to your baby daughter, or to your grandson? This actually happened to David, where his son was killed for his adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:14), even after his guilt was removed. In the New Testament, Jesus talks about the blood of the prophets killed in previous generations being brought to bear on the current generation in Jerusalem (Matthew 23:29-36 and Luke 11:47-51). That's a scary thought for us alive today, with all of the blood of the 60 million or so innocent babies who were legally killed in the womb in the USA since 1973 being brought to bear upon us someday. There are people who don't believe in future generations being punished for the sins of previous generations, but then you have to remember that we are ALL still suffering for the one sin of Adam and Eve. In 2 Maccabees 6:14, it says that God waits patiently to punish nations until they have reached the full measure of their sins.
· Of course, the really good news is that for those who love and serve Jesus, his love is extended to a thousand generations, from Deuteronomy 7:9.
· So, what do we need to do about all of these intergenerational curses caused by ancestral sins? Two things - You can recite the prayer for healing your family tree. The best time to recite it is immediately after Holy Communion, when you and Jesus Christ are one; when you are like the Blessed Virgin Mary - a living tabernacle of The Savior. That is when you are the holiest, and when your prayers are the most efficacious. A few minutes of heartfelt prayer after receiving Jesus in the Eucharist while in the state of grace are worth many hours of prayer later on.
· And, you can also have the spiritual benefits of having Holy Mass celebrated for your family tree - past, present AND future.
Feast of Saint Ann, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
ALL that we know of St. Ann is that she was married to St. Joachim of the tribe of David, and lived with him in all virtue and piety, but for a long time was childless. This she bore with all patience, till at last the Lord heard her supplications, and made her the mother of the most blessed Virgin. This distinction on the part of God is praise enough for her. On this account the faithful have always shown great veneration for her, and continually invoke her intercession. “Let us all rejoice in the Lord, keeping festival in honor of St. Ann, on whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and with one voice praise the Son of God. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King.”
Prayer. O God, Who wast pleased to confer upon St. Ann the grace whereby she became the mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that we, who keep her festival, may, through her intercession, find help with Thee.
EPISTLE. Prov. xxxi. 10-31.
“Who shall find a valiant woman? the price of her is as of things brought from afar off and from the uttermost coasts. The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils. She will render him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands. She is like the merchant’s ship, she bringeth her bread from afar. And she hath risen in the night, and given a prey to her household, and victuals to her maidens. She hath considered a field, and bought it: with the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard. She hath girded her loins with strength, and hath strengthened her arm. She hath tasted, and seen that her traffic is good: her lamp shall not be put out in the night. She hath put out her hand to strong things, and her fingers have taken hold of the spindle. She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hand to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow: for all her domestics are clothed with double garments. She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry: fine linen, and purple is her covering. Her husband is honorable in the gates, when he sitteth among the senators of the land. She made fine linen, and sold it, and de livered a girdle to the Chanaanite. Strength and beauty are her clothing, and she shall laugh in the latter day. She hath opened her mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency is on her tongue. She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle. Her children rose up, and called her blessed: her husband, and he praised her. Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her in the gates.
GOSPEL. Matt. xiii. 44-52.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hideth and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So, shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have ye understood all these things? They say to Him: Yes. He said unto them: Therefore, every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.
Explanation. The hidden treasure is faith in the Crucified, Who remains concealed from the wise of this world by reason of their pride; the hiding of the treasure denotes that faith is to be preserved only by humility; the selling of all that he hath teaches that, for the sake of the faith, we must sacrifice all things, do all things, suffer all things. The parable of the merchant furnishes the same lesson. By the parable of the net the Lord teaches that the universal visible Church of Christ, the kingdom of God upon earth, contains not only the elect, but those also who shall be condemned the bad as well as the good. At the end of the world there will be a separation, and the bad shall be cast into everlasting fire.
Aspiration to St. Ann.
Hail, O blessed mother Ann! Blessed art thou, who, for our consolation, didst bear the Mother of our Redeemer. With the greatest veneration, therefore, and full of confidence, we approach thee, beseeching thee that thou wouldst supplicate our divine Saviour to bestow upon us the graces which we need to follow thy ardent devotion, thy fear of God, and to render us worthy one day to behold in heaven the blessed fruit of thy virgin daughter’s womb, Jesus, and to rejoice forever in the contemplation of Him.
The Mysterious Relics of Saint Anne
Fourteen years after Our Lord’s death, Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Martha, Saint Lazarus, and the others of the little band of Christians who were piled into a boat without sails or oars and pushed out to sea to perish — in the persecution of the Christians by the Jews of Jerusalem — were careful to carry with them the tenderly loved body of Our Lady’s mother. They feared lest it be profaned in the destruction, which Jesus had told them was to come upon Jerusalem. When, by the power of God, their boat survived and finally drifted to the shores of France, the little company of saints buried Saint Anne’s body in a cave, in a place called Apt, in the south of France. The church, which was later built over the spot, fell into decay because of wars and religious persecutions, and as the centuries passed, the place of Saint Anne’s tomb was forgotten. The long years of peace, which Charlemagne’s wise rule gave to southern France, enabled the people to build a magnificent new church on the site of the old chapel at Apt. Extraordinary and painstaking labor went into the building of the great structure, and when the day of its consecration arrived, the beloved Charlemagne, little suspecting what was in store for him, declared himself happy indeed to have journeyed so many miles to be present for the holy occasion. At the most solemn part of the ceremonies, a boy of fourteen, blind, deaf and dumb from birth — and usually quiet and impassive — to the amazement of those who knew him, completely distracted the attention of the entire congregation by becoming suddenly tremendously excited. He rose from his seat, walked up the aisle to the altar steps, and to the consternation of the whole church, struck his stick resoundingly again and again upon a single step. His embarrassed family tried to lead him out, but he would not budge. He continued frantically to pound the step, straining with his poor muted senses to impart a knowledge sealed hopelessly within him. The eyes of the people turned upon the emperor, and he, apparently inspired by God, took the matter into his own hands. He called for workmen to remove the steps. A subterranean passage was revealed directly below the spot, which the boy’s stick had indicated. Into this passage the blind lad jumped, to be followed by the emperor, the priests, and the workmen. They made their way in the dim light of candles, and when, farther along the passage, they came upon a wall that blocked further advance, the boy signed that this also should be removed. When the wall fell, there was brought to view still another long, dark corridor. At the end of this, the searchers found a crypt, upon which, to their profound wonderment, a vigil lamp, alight and burning in a little walled recess, cast a heavenly radiance. As Charlemagne and his afflicted small guide, with their companions, stood before the lamp, its light went out. And at the same moment, the boy, blind and deaf and dumb from birth, felt sight and hearing and speech flood into his young eyes, his ears, and his tongue. “It is she! It is she!” he cried out. The great emperor, not knowing what he meant, nevertheless repeated the words after him. The call was taken up by the crowds in the church above, as the people sank to their knees, bowed in the realization of the presence of something celestial and holy. The crypt at last was opened, and a casket was found within it. In the casket was a winding sheet, and in the sheet were relics, and upon the relics was an inscription that read, “Here lies the body of Saint Anne, mother of the glorious Virgin Mary.” The winding sheet, it was noted, was of eastern design and texture. Charlemagne, overwhelmed, venerated with profound gratitude the relics of the mother of Heaven’s Queen.
Things to Do
· See more about the Shrine of Sainte Anne de Beaupré in Quebec, Canada. Several relics of St. Anne are also located in this shrine. Take a video tour of the Shrine here accompanied by beautiful Gregorian chant.
· Foods related to St. Ann and Joachim: It seems shellfish, particularly lobster, is one traditional type of food served in France for this feastday.
The Modern Church Also Honors Saint Joachim on this day.
St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Nazareth, a little town in Galilee. His parents, though occupying a humble position in the world, were descendants of the holy king David. It was not without inspiration that, at his circumcision, the name of Joachim was given him; it means “Preparation for the Lord,” or, as others translate it, a preparation for the arrival of the Lord. It has been understood by many to signify that he would have a daughter whom he would prepare, by a holy education, to be the mother of Our Lord. Arriving at the years of manhood, he married Anna, a virtuous and chaste maiden of Bethlehem, whom, without doubt, God gave special graces, as she was chosen by Him to be the mother of the Queen of Heaven. Joachim and Anna continued, after their union, to serve God with the greatest fidelity. The most perfect charity and harmony reigned in their dwelling. They had divided their possessions into three parts. The first they devoted exclusively to the honor of God and to the adornment of the Temple; the second, to the poor; and the third they kept for themselves. One thing saddened the lives of Joachim and Anna. They had been married many years without being blessed with a child, and their advancing age made them despair of ever having one. Barrenness was considered a great disgrace and Joachim lived under that cross for many years. He never ceased to implore God with tears, prayers, and fasts to remove it from him; but it seemed that he was not heard, which gave him great grief. He, however, never murmured against the Almighty, but, submitting to His will, continued his prayer. It is also believed, that he and his spouse made a vow that, if they were blessed with a child, they would consecrate it to His service. St. Epiphanius relates that, one day, while St. Joachim was praying, an angel appeared to him and assured him that God had heard his prayer, and that a daughter should be given him, who would become the mother of the promised Messiah. The angel informed him also of the name which God had destined for her. When he heard this, the joy of St. Joachim was beyond all description. He went immediately to tell his spouse of it, who, according to some authors, had received the same revelation. Both gave fervent thanks to the Almighty and praised His mercy. The angel’s prophecy was fulfilled, and St. Anna gave birth to a daughter, who was born free from the stain of original sin, full of the Holy Spirit, blessed above all women, and destined by heaven to be the mother of the only begotten Son of God. St. Joachim, renewing his thanks to the Almighty, redoubled his zeal in His service. As soon as the lawful time arrived, St. Joachim and his holy spouse carried their new-born child into the temple and offered her with great devotion to God, redeemed her again according to the custom, and returned with her to their home. Three years they kept their daughter with them, after which they brought the tender child, who was, however, gifted with the full use of mind, into the Temple of Jerusalem, and having consecrated her, with the usual ceremonies, to the service of the Almighty, gave her in charge of the priests for education and instruction. In this manner, St. Joachim fulfilled his vow and showed how truly he loved God. For although his love for his daughter, no doubt, surpassed the love of most parents for their children, yet he deprived himself of that which was most dear to him on earth and consecrated it to the Most High. It cannot be doubted that God rewarded his self-sacrificing love with great graces and favors. After having made this sacrifice to the Almighty, Joachim and Anna lived for many years in great sanctity. It is believed that St. Joachim expired in the eightieth year of his age.
Purity between Spouses
"Celebrate and reverence God's vision of human sexuality."
Natural Family Planning Awareness Week is a national educational campaign. The Natural Family Planning Program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops develops a poster each year with basic supportive materials. It is the individual dioceses however, that offer a variety of educational formats in the local church to focus attention on Natural Family Planning methods and Church teachings which support their use in marriage. The dates of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week highlight the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love and responsible parenthood. The dates also mark the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne (July 26), the parents of the Blessed Mother. For further information, contact email@example.com.
· Read Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality.
* A person with fear of the Lord is filled with peace, faith, hope and love.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
Olmsted, Reverend Thomas J. Manual for Men