Prayer for Protection to St. Joachim

O Great and glorious patriarch St Joachim, how I rejoice to think that thou wast chosen from among all the Saints to co-operate in the divine mysteries, and enrich the world by bestowing on it the great Mother of God, most holy Mary! By this singular privilege thou hast become so powerful with the Mother and the Son as to obtain whatever graces may be necessary for us. With great confidence, then, I have recourse to thy most powerful protection, and I commend to thee all the wants of my family, both spiritual and temporal, as well as my own; and especially I appeal to thee for the particular grace which I desire and expect from thy Paternal intercession. And since thou wast a perfect model of the interior life, obtain for me interior recollection and a distaste for the fleeting goods of this earth, with a lively and persevering love of Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me, too, devotion and sincere obedience to Holy Church, and to the True Supreme Pontiff who governs her, so that I may live and die in Faith, Hope, and perfect Charity, invoking the most holy names of Jesus and Mary, and may save my soul. Amen. Pater, Ave, Gloria, thrice.

(Indulgence: 300 days-Pope Leo XIII)


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Prayer of Petition to St. Joachim
(Can be said as a Novena for Nine Consecutive Days)

O Great patriarch St Joachim, by that singular privilege by which thou wast chosen by Divine Providence to present to the world that Immaculate Queen in whom all nations should be blessed, and who should bear in her virginal bosom the salvation of the human race; we thy devout clients rejoice with thee over this beautiful privilege, and we implore thy special protection for ourselves and our families. Do not allow, O dear Saint, the devil or sin to have any place in our souls, nor the perverse maxims of the world to seduce us, nor permit us to live unmindful of that eternity for which we have been created. Obtain for us from God a firm faith, unshaken by the impieties and errors which are scattered abroad by sects hostile to the Church and to the Apostolic See, a sincere and constant affection for the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the True Valid Roman Pontiff, a generous and indomitable courage in refuting the calumnies uttered against everything that is most sacred and revered in our holy religion. Thou who art powerful through the love which thy holy daughter, Mary, bears thee, help on the cause of the Church, obtain for her the long-desired triumph, scatter the powers of darkness, humble their pride, and cause the light of truth and of the Faith to outshine every falsehood. Grant us, above everything, a tender and filial devotion to most holy Mary, thy dear daughter and our Mother, so that daily honouring her with devout homage we may deserve to be counted by her among the happy company of her children, and after the miseries of this exile to be brought by her to Paradise, there to praise the mercies of God for ever. Amen. Pater, Ave, Gloria, thrice.

(Indulgence: 300 Days-Pope Leo XIII)









A Father's Prayer to St. Joachim

Holy patrons of my children, St. Joachim, take an interest in me their father; pray for me that through your intercession I may receive the grace that I may by word and example exercise a salutary influence over my children, and that they, by imitating your virtues, may grow up good members of the Church and be received one day into your happy society. Amen.




A Prayer of a Father to the Guardian Angels of his Children

O holy guardian angels, ye heavenly friends of my children, full of confidence I turn to you. Those whom the Lord has entrusted to me He has also entrusted to your love and care. Obtain for me by your intercession, that animated with the same sentiment which animates you towards my children, I may do all things to bring them up for God and heaven. O may I be such a father to them that I may be not unworthy of your love and friendship. Obtain this for me by your powerful intercession. Amen.




A Prayer to Preserve the Children from Mortal Sin

O God, how many and how great are the temptations to sin for my children in this world! And it is not in my power to lead them safely through them. Thou must assist and protect, Thou must rescue and lead to victory. Come then to my aid, O Lord, in the power of Thy grace, that the monster of mortal sin may not approach my children. Thou knowest, O Lord, how much I love my children; but I would rather that Thou shouldst take them from me by death than that by sin they should suffer the death of their souls and become an object of abomination and wrath to Thee. Therefore I beseech Thee, Thou Father of my children, haste to take them out of this life rather than that they should suffer this misfortune, so that by losing them during this short life I may find them again in Thy house and possess them forever with Thee. Hear me, O Lord, hear me; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Hail Mary.




A Prayer for Purity in Children

O most holy God, who lovest purity and innocence, grant my children the precious gift of purity. Alas, if the vice of impurity should soil my children, how unhappy would they be for time and eternity. Lord, protect them; keep far from them this terrible misfortune! Without Thy special grace they cannot preserve holy purity. O Lord, grant them this grace! May their hearts be as a sanctuary undefiled by any impure thoughts and sentiments; may their eyes be modest, their ears and mouth closed to any impropriety in word or conversation; fill them with horror for everything contrary to purity, and let them, unblemished in body and soul, continue to be temples consecrated to the Holy Ghost.

O Lord, Thou lover of pure souls, let my children be numbered among Thy beloved ones; let that blessing which in time and eternity accompanies holy purity come to my children.

Immaculate Mother, thou model and intercessor of pure souls; St. Joseph, St. Aloysius, and all holy youths, virgins, and saintly children, help me by your intercession. Amen.




A Father's Prayer for Blessings on his Work

O God, all that I may do for the proper education of my children will not bear fruit without the blessing of Thy grace. Although I may "plant and water," the " increase" will be wanting if Thou dost not "give" it. " Except the Lord build the house," says the Psalmist, " they labor in vain who build it. Except the Lord keep the city he watcheth in vain that keepeth it." Therefore I beseech Thee, O Lord, give "the increase" to all that I do for my children by teaching, admonition, warning, punishment, vigilance and direction; assist me to "keep" them from all evil of body and soul; assist me to " build" that the "house" of virtue and perfection will have in them a firm foundation. Accompany my words and works with Thy grace that they may conduce to the welfare of my children, through Jesus Christ. Amen.



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St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin Mary

by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876


St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Nazareth, a little town in Galilee. His parents, though occupying an 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; and it has been understood by several teachers to signify that he would have a daughter whom he would prepare, by a holy education, to be the dwelling of the Redeemer of the world. Arriving at the years of manhood, he married Anna, a virtuous and chaste maiden of Bethlehem, whom, without doubt, God had gifted with especial 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, among their people and at their time, considered a great disgrace and a curse from Heaven, 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. The joy, which filled St. Joachim when he heard this message, is 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 Ghost, 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 time had come which the law prescribed, St. Joachim and his holy spouse carried their newborn child into the temple and offered her with great devotion to God, redeemed it again according to the custom, and returned with it 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 recompensed 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; but proofs of this are wanting. His death, however, whenever it may have pleased the Almighty to call him, must have been precious in the sight of God, as so holy a life had preceded it. It is also certain that the glory of St. Joachim in Heaven and his intercession with God are proportioned to his merit and dignity in having been chosen to be the father of the Mother of God, and therefore, the grandfather of Jesus Christ. They who, in need and sorrow, invoke him with confidence, will surely find that he is ever ready to carry the petitions of the faithful to the throne of the Most High.




PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS.


I. St. Joachim lived with his holy spouse, St. Ann, in continual love and harmony; they made use of their worldly possessions to honor God, decorate the temple and support the poor; they practiced patience together; they prayed together, and together consecrated their beloved daughter to God in the temple. Oh! that all married persons would follow their example, and, in love and harmony, encourage each other to practice all Christian virtues. According to Holy Writ, God has, as I have observed elsewhere, expressed His pleasure with married people who agree well together (Exod. xxv). But He abhors those who quarrel with each other, abuse, insult, defame or curse each other, who prevent each other from doing good and even incite each other to wicked deeds. And what do they gain by their contentions? They deprive themselves of the assistance and grace of God, which they so much need in a life which is difficult at the best. The Almighty, who is a God of peace and harmony, cannot dwell where contention, strife, hatred and discord reign. They must live together until death separates them, as nothing else can break their ties.


Therefore, if they live inharmoniously, they shorten their happiness in this world, and what have they to expect in the next? Those who do not love their neighbor with their whole heart will surely not enter the kingdom of heaven; and who is nearer to a wife than her husband? who nearer the husband than his wife, as according to Holy Writ, "the two are one flesh?" Christian couples should therefore daily pray to God for charity and unity; and should there come clouds between them, let them instantly enquire into the cause and remove it, that their dissension may not gain ground until it is impossible to uproot it, and thus draw upon them temporal and eternal misery. If their disturbances are already far advanced, they must, as in every other sin, make a firm resolution to live peaceably, agree to reform their conduct, else they are on the way to destruction.

2. St. Joachim took refuge in prayer in his grief and sorrow, and though God did not appear to hear him for a long time, he continued with confidence, submitting to Providence, and abstaining from all complaints and murmurs against God. Follow his example in trials and trouble. Seek shelter in God; pray without ceasing; even if your prayer is not granted, do not despair. Never complain or murmur against the Almighty; for He has His own reasons, though you cannot comprehend them, for not immediately complying with your request. Reflect a little on your past life, and see how often God has called you and exhorted you to correct your faults, to become more zealous in His service; and you closed your ears to His admonitions. How can you expect that He will heed you immediately? How dare you complain, if He does not hear you? Perhaps, too, your prayer is such as is unworthy to be heard by the Almighty. You say your prayers, perhaps, with a thousand voluntary distractions, and do not hear yourself. How, then, can you be surprised that God does not hear them? St. Bernard says: "I greatly insult the Almighty, if I desire that He will hear my prayer, when I do not hear it myself, and pay no attention to God nor to myself." "If you desire to be heard by God, take heed that you are first heard by yourself," says St. Ephrem, and he means that you should perform your devotions with attention and devotion. If even then you are not heard, think of the words of St . Gregory, who says: "If you are not heard immediately, do not leave off praying, but continue your prayer and increase your devotion. God wishes to be begged. He will be forced, so to speak, and will be vanquished by importunity."




St. Joachim, spouse of Ann, Father of the Blessed Virgin,
aid thy clients here on the way to salvation.

(Indulgence of 300 days--Pius X, 1906)









Prayer of Married Persons to St. Joachim and St. Anne
O models of pious and virtuous married persons, St. Joachim and St. Anne! Through the wondrous blessing with which God gladdened your hearts when He chose you as the parents of the ever blessed Virgin, the mother of our Saviour, obtain for us, we beseech you, the grace to desire nothing but virtue and piety; that, in fidelity and love, we may share each other's joys and sorrows, and together with our children lead such a life as to insure our entrance into the kingdom of heaven! Amen.




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O Holy Joachim, husband of Anne, father of the Blessed Virgin, bestow on thy servants here help and salvation. Amen


(An indulgence of 300 days)




Hymn from the Liturgical Year, 1907

O Joachim, Father of the sovereign Maiden, who in all purity gave birth to God, present to the Lord our petitions and our chaste desires. Thou knowest by what angry waves we are here tossed, whom the cruel sea of this world wearies out: thou knowest how many battles Satan and the flesh prepare for us. Now that thou art united to the holy companies in heaven, or rather art placed at their head, thou canst do all if thou wilt: for rightly neither Jesus thy grandson nor Mary thy daughter can deny thee aught. Obtain by thy prayer that our Blessed God may give us pardon and peace: that united with thee we may sweetly sing canticles to Him.





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A Prayer to be said by Husband or Wife


O merciful God, we humbly beseech Thee to send Thy blessing continually upon us, and to make us thankful for all that Thou hast already vouchsafed unto us; and as Thou hast made us one in the mystical grace of matrimony, grant that we may be also inwardly of one heart and of one mind, paying due honor one to another, united in love to Thee and to each other in Thee; living together in peace and holiness, as faithful members of Thy church, denying ourselves, and being a mutual help, comfort and support to each other, all the days of our life. (Give us grace to train our children in Thy faith and fear.) Bless us with health and strength, if it be Thy will, and with whatever else Thy good providence shall see to be best for our souls and bodies. Fit and prepare us day by day for our departure hence, that we may together inherit eternal life in Thy heavenly kingdom. Through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen





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A Prayer to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
To be said by Married Folk in their own behalf


O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts, dwell in our hearts and be our King: grant us by Thy grace to love each other truly and chastely, even as Thou hast loved Thine immaculate Bride, the Church, and didst deliver Thyself up for her.

Bestow upon us the mutual love and Christian forbearance that are so acceptable in Thy sight, and a mutual patience in bearing each other's defects; for we are certain that no living creature is free from them. Permit not the slightest misunderstanding to mar that harmony of spirit which is the foundation of that mutual assistance in the many and varied hardships of life, to provide which woman was created and united inseparably to her husband.

Grant, O Lord God, that between us there may be a constant and holy rivalry in striving to lead a perfect Christian life, by virtue of which the divine image of Thy mystic union with Holy Church, imprinted upon us on the happy day of our marriage, may shine forth more and more clearly. Grant, we beseech Thee, that our good example of Christian living may be a source of inspiration to our children to spur them on to conform their lives also to Thy holy Law; and finally, after this exile, may we be found worthy, by the help of Thy grace, for which we earnestly pray, to ascend into heaven, there to be joined with our children forever, and to praise and bless Thee through everlasting ages. Amen.

NOTE: If they have no children, instead of the words: "Grant, O Lord God, etc. . . . Amen", let them pray as follows:


Grant, O Lord God, that between us there may be a constant and holy rivalry in our efforts to lead a truly Christian life, by virtue of which the divine image of Thy mystic union with Thy holy Church, which Thou didst deign to impress upon us on the happy day of our marriage, may shine forth more and more clearly; and so living may we, both of us, ascend into heaven and be found worthy to praise Thee and bless Thee forever. Amen.


(1943 Raccolta: An indulgence of 300 days)




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A Prayer to be said by Parents
In behalf of their Children


O Lord God, who hast called us to holy matrimony and hast been pleased to render our union fruitful, thus making glad the sublime state of life wherein Thou hast placed us, by a certain likeness to Thine own infinite fruitfulness; we heartily recommend to Thee our dear children; we entrust them to Thy fatherly care and all-powerful protection, that they may grow daily in Thy holy fear, may lead a perfect Christian life and may be a source of consolation, not only to us who have given them life, but also and chiefly to Thee, who art their Creator.

Behold, O Lord, in what a world they must pass their lives; consider the cunning flatteries whereby the sons of men everywhere endeavor to deprave their minds and hearts with false doctrine and wicked example. Be watchful, O Lord, to help and defend them; grant us the grace to be able to guide them aright in the paths of virtue and in the way of Thy commandments, by the righteous pattern of our own life and practice, and our perfect observance of Thy holy law and that of our holy mother the Church; and in order that we may do so faithfully, make us certain of the grave danger that awaits us at the hands of Thy divine justice. Nevertheless all our efforts will be unavailing, unless Thou, O almighty and merciful God, shalt make them fruitful by Thy heavenly blessing.

This Thy blessing, therefore, we humbly ask of Thee, from the bottom of our hearts, trusting in Thy great goodness and mercy hitherto shown unto us; we ask it for ourselves and for the children whom Thou hast been graciously pleased to give unto us. We dedicate them to Thee, O Lord, do Thou keep them as the apple of Thine eye, and protect them under the shadow of Thy wings; do Thou make us worthy to come at last to heaven, together with them, giving thanks unto Thee, our Father, for the loving care Thou hast had of our entire family and praising Thee through endless ages. Amen.


(1943 Raccolta: An indulgence of 300 days)








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