Commemorative masses will be celebrated Monday, July 26, at the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Ann in Taguig City, in solemn observance of the Feast of Saints Joachim and Ann (San Joaquin and Santa Ana), venerated as the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus Christ.
With the theme “St. Ann: A Year of Sharing, Faith and Hope in God in the 500th Year of Christianity in the Philippines,” the praying of the holy rosary and a novenario followed by a holy mass were held from July 17 to 25.
This year marks the 434th anniversary of St. Ann’s installation as the city’s patron saint.
Commemorative masses will also be celebrated in Bugasong, Antique; Liliw, Laguna; Malinao, Albay; and in Nakar, Quezon.
Many devotees mark the feast of Saints Joachim and Ann as a special day for grandparents. This year, the Catholic Church observes the first World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly today, July 25, following a declaration by Pope Francis to highlight the important role played by grandparents and the elderly in the family and society.
According to St. John Damascene, an early Church Father and a Doctor of the Church, “Sts. Joachim and Ann faithfully performed their duties, practiced their faith, and established an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah. They nurtured, taught, and brought up Mary to be a worthy Mother of God. Mary followed their example of parenting as she brought up Jesus.”
St. Ann is also considered as the patron saint and protector of Christian mothers and of women in labor.