Monday, July 23, 2012

Sts. Joachim and Anne, July 26

July 26 is the feast of saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin and the grandparents of Jesus. What an honor! What an incredible blessing of their marriage! Little is known of them. What we do know has come down through oral tradition. Nothing about them is written in Sacred Scripture only in an apocryphal gospel, the Gospel of St. James. Like St. Joseph, their son-in-law, they are key players in the human family of Jesus, but their personal stories are hidden from us.

It appears knowledge of St. Anne first arose from the Middle East in the fourth century. Later with the travels of the crusaders, stories of St. Anne reached France and the rest of Europe. A love affair developed between the French and St. Anne. In time they brought their love of her to the New World and built a grand church to honor her in Quebec City called St. Anne de Beaupre. From its very beginning the church was blessed with miracles, a crippled worker's leg was restored to full use. Today crutches line its entrance and tell of St. Anne's continual intercession for those crippled in body and/or in soul.

Replica of statue of St. Anne and Mary, St. Anne de Beaupre, Quebec, Canada

  The name Anne means grace.  During the 17th century, it was the most popular name for women in Europe. Many, from queens to parlor maids, were given the name Anne. The feast of St. Anne came to include honoring all Annes. Women dressed up in elegant clothes, parties were held, parades were featured, even polkas were composed by the Strausses in honor of the day. Lovely fruit tarts decorated the dinner tables.

Sts. Anne and Joachim are patrons of parents and grandparents. St. Anne is an intercessor for those seeking a good spouse, for the childless, and those suffering in body and/ or soul. On July 26,  let us honor the marriage of Sts. Joachim and Anne and celebrate our parents' and grandparents' marriages with special cupcakes. You will find details below. And remember to have a party for all our friends named Anne or names derived of Anne. At the end of this post you will find a prayer to say to the mother of the Blessed Virgin and the grandmother of Jesus asking St. Anne for her help in all our necessities and for those in need.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa

Above are cupcakes for Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa. Bake one of their favorite cake recipes in silver cupcake liners. Frost with their favorite frosting and sprinkle with colored sugar. For special anniversaries sprinkle with silver or gold sugar found in Michael's Craft and A.C. Moore stores.  You can get mini pictures from an original of your parents or grandparents at CVS or another store that does one hour photo developing or has the Kodak photo computers. Choose the wallet size from your original photo. When the photos are ready just cut them individually and tape each to a toothpick. Place in the top of each cupcake!  

Here is a prayer for a marriage blessing.

   We thank you, O God, for the Love You have implanted in our hearts. May it always inspire us to be kind in our words, considerate of feeling, and concerned for each other's needs and wishes. Help us to be understanding and forgiving of human weaknesses and failings. Increase our faith and trust in You, and may Your Prudence guide our life and love. Bless our Marriage O God, with Peace and Happiness, and make our love fruitful for Your glory and our joy both here and in eternity. We make this prayer through the intercession of  Sts. Joachim and Anne. Amen

            Below, a bit more challenging but very satisfying when completed.

Bride and Groom Cake or Cupcake Toppers
Use the same cupcakes with silveroil liners, or choose others according to your color scheme. Real or artificial flowers decorate the bottom of this improvised cake stand! White chocolate, yogurt pretzels symbolize the wedding bands. You can heat them slightly to melt the chocolate and then sprinkle them with gold or silver sugar. Ont the top of our anniversary treat are a bride and groom resting in a white frilly baking cup. The couple are made out of white, chocolate, and yellow melting chocolate with mini Sandies shortbread cookies for their faces. The pattern and directions are taken from Hello,Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. There are some wonderful ideas and techniques in this book and other cupcake books that offer elegance when you are looking to highlight a certain feast day. This project is fun for those twelve and up, or younger children who possess excellent fine motor skills, patience, and love to bake and decorate.

                               CELEBRATE ST. ANNE AND ALL THE ANNES

Yum! Strawberry cupcakes with pink icing and pink and white sprinkles. Wouldn't pink lemonade go well with them on a hot summer's day? Invite all the Annes you know to celebrate their name day. Better yet invite them to make these fun cupcakes. They will have many great ideas of their own on how to decorate them - maybe purple or yellow, or a rainbow! Make it an afternoon party and if the pool is not too far away cool off with a swim. All to honor St. Anne and all the Annes!

You can top the cupcakes with decorations found at Michael's Craft Store. I found some American Girl decorations on sale and used them to add variations of Anne - Hannah, Rosanna, Luanne, etc. 

More Cupcakes for Anne!

                                   A Prayer to St. Anne

                       (Below is an old  prayer to St. Anne to obtain some special favor)

Glorious St. Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke thee, and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at thy feet and humbly beg of thee to take the present affair which I recommend to thee under they special protection.

Vouchsafe to recommend it to thy Daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face and with thee and Mary and all the Saints, praising and blessing Him to all eternity.

Good St. Anne, mother of her who is our Life, our Sweetness and our Hope, pray to her for us, and obtain our request. (3 times)

               Happy Feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne 

Resources used The Holy Day Book by Fr. Francis Weiser, S.J., A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz
A Book of Feasts and Seasons by Joanna Bogle, My Nameday Come for Dessert by Helen Mc Loughlin, Catholic Encylopedia on New Advent web site, and Saint Anne found in Wikipedia the free on-line enclopedia.

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