Sts. Joachim and Ann are venerated by the Church as the parents of the Virgin Mary. All information about the two saints comes from the Gospel of St. James, an apocryphal book of the second century. Ann, whose name means Grace, was probably informed by an angel that the daughter she was about to conceive would be spoken of in all the world.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

In the sixth century, a church was dedicated to her in Constantinople, and from the Middle Ages her veneration became very popular. Joachim, who has been honored since the 6th century, is often represented as teaching little Mary to read the Scriptures.