Here is an extract from the Protoevangelium of James: ‘Then, Joachim came with his flocks. Anna was standing at the gate. When she saw Joachim coming with his flocks, Anna ran and wrapped herself around his neck, saying, “Now I know that the Lord God has blessed me greatly. See, the widow is no longer a widow, and the childless woman has conceived in her womb.” And Joachim rested for the first day he was home. The next day, when he was presenting his offerings, he said to himself, “If the Lord God will be reconciled to me, he will make it clear to me with the priest’s metal disc.” And Joachim presented his offerings and paid attention to the priest’s metal disc until he went up to the altar of the Lord. And he saw no sin in it. Joachim said, “Now, I know that the Lord God has been reconciled to me and has sent all my great sins away from me.” And having been justified, he departed from the temple and went to his house. And his wife’s pregnancy came to term. After nine months, Anna gave birth and she said to the midwife, “What is it?” The midwife said, “A girl.” Anna said, “My soul exults this day.” And she put her baby to bed’.

Today we rejoice with St Anne, with St Joachim, and with Our Lady herself at this wondrous event. May this feast bring you much joy, and may God Himself bless you this day.