St. Joachim, husband, father of the Blessed Virgin, grandfather of the Lord

Today in the traditional Roman calendar is the Feast of St. Joachim, father of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Joachim in Hebrew means “he whom YHWH has set up”.

His feast was not in the 1570 Missale Romanum. It was added in 1584 for 20 March (the day after the Feast of St. Joseph). In 1738 it was moved to the Sunday after the Octave of the Assumption of Mary. All of those Octaves were eliminated sometime before 1962. Pope St. Pius X moved it 16 August in order to associate it more closely with the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the post-Conciliar calendar St. Joachim’s feast was joined to that of St. Ann, his wife and mother of the Blessed Virgin for 26 July.

I am happy to have relics of St. Joachim and St. Ann.

To think: the grandfather of the Lord would share something of His DNA.  Relics of Joachim and Ann are about as close as we can get to relics of Mary and the Lord.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. don Jeffry says:

    Let’s get their DNA tested!

  2. Gregory DiPippo says:

    Optime Pater,

    St. Joachim’s feast was added to the ‘Breviarium secundum usum Curiae Romanae’ by Pope Julius II, and assigned to March 20. It was suppressed by St. Pius V, along with St. Ann and the Presentation of the Virgin, because all three feasts derive from an apocryphal Gospel. St. Ann’s feast was put back in 1584 by Gregory XIII, the Presentation by Sixtus V the following year, and St. Joachim by Gregory XV in 1622 . The octaves were suppressed by the decree Rubircarum simplificatio in 1955.

  3. RichR says:

    I never tire of seeing these relics. So cool.

  4. PaulK says:


    How sure is the Church about the authenticity of those relics?

  5. PaulK: I think The Church hasn’t pronounced on that.

    In the meantime, do you have any evidence that they are not true relics?

  6. MJ says:

    Beautiful!! :)

    You know…when my aunt and I visited St. Mary Major in Rome, we saw the relics there…and the guide insisted that two of them were relics of the Blessed Virgin – he said one relic was a piece of her hair (ok that’s believable I suppose) and the other was a piece of her skull (?!). My aunt and I said “No, she was assumed into Heaven body and soul – there’s no way” and he just kept insisting it was…so we let it go. T’was very curious! :)

  7. PaulK says:

    Fr Z: Is there a necessary connection between the authenticity of a relic and the veneration of something as a relic?

  8. tioedong says:

    two lower middle class folks in a minor village who died 20 or 30 years before Jesus started preaching would not have fancy tombs (no matter how much the “Jesus tomb” conspiracy folks say) so I wonder where they found these.

    One story is that they were brought to France with Mary Magdalen and Martha PDF HERE

    Of course, from a scientific point of view, we should test Anna’s DNA and see if it matches the DNA on the shroud of Turin.


  9. Enoch the Sleestak says:

    Father, is there any consensus on the pronunciation of “Joachim,” and/or is it anglicized at all? Thanks.

  10. Ah so fascinating! I just attended Mass today where Father had a great sermon of St Joachim. So sweet to see his actual relic! It really solidifies our faith; that these are real people who LIVED, not just vague concepts. Just to think: the Grandfather of The LORD! Blows my mind! :)

    P.S. I always thought it was pronounced “Yo-ah-chim” with a with the “ch” pronounced in that guttural manner.

  11. ReginaMarie says:

    If you ever find yourself in Pittsburgh, PA, be sure to go to Troy Hill for a visit of St. Anthony’s Chapel (affiliated with Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish) — St. Anthony’s has the largest collection of relics in the world outside of the Vatican, & the life-sized Stations of the Cross are amazing:,_Pennsylvania%29

    Click on the images at the bottom of the wikipedia entry to see images of the interior of the Chapel.

  12. benedetta says:

    Very beautiful.

  13. irishgirl says:

    So cool that you have relics of both St. Joachim and St. Anne, Father Z! Thanks for showing this to us!
    I know that the Shrine of Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre in Canada has a major relic of St. Anne-I don’t know if it has one of St. Joachim (there is a nice statue of him in the Basilica, though).

  14. RichardT says:

    “Relics of Joachim and Ann are about as close as we can get to relics of Mary and the Lord”

    Don’t forget the relic of the Precious Blood in Brugge, where it is still regularly exposed for veneration.

    And we won’t mention the Holy Prepuce, which seems to have been lost.

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