Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (13: 31-35) in which Jesus tells the parable of the mustard seed, which is the smallest of seeds but grows into a large tree, giving shelter to birds. Afterwards, he shares a little about the lives of Saints Joachim and Anne, whose memorial we celebrate today.

Fr Paul says, Joachim and Anne are the names of the parents of Mary, Mother of God. These names come to us from an ancient tradition that was already known in the 2nd century. Though their names are not mentioned in the Gospels, it is important to appreciate that these parents brought up Mary to be the woman she was.

From the moment Mary said ‘Yes’ to the Incarnation, she took the most important decision any human had ever taken and the fact that she had the wisdom to do this is, to a great extent, the work of Joachim and Anne, her parents.

Joachim and Anne are a model for all parents who have the responsibility for bringing up their children.

Fr Paul says, as we do in the tradition of our Church, we pray: St Joachim and Anne pray for us!