This icon clearly depicts the advanced age of Saint Joachim and Anna at the time of Mary's childhood. According to Holy Tradition, Saint Joachim was 60 and Saint Anna was 59 when Mary was born; both died ten years after her birth.

Everyone seems to be obsessed with the numerical oddity, some would say auspiciousness, of today’s date.   Weddings, lottery tickets sales, and lucky births are all being blessed with the smiling face of fortune today.

I hope you haven’t gotten caught up in this superstitious nonsense, and may I suggest an alternative blessing for this date?  Orthodox Christians observe September 9th as the feast of the parents of Mary, the Most Holy Theotokos, the Mother of God, falling naturally the day after the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos (8th).   Since becoming a mother I’ve always had a special devotion to Saint Anna and I believe through her intercessions that I have been blessed.   It was to Saint Anna that I prayed through two difficult pregnancies and I continue to ask for her help whenever I have a special concern with my children.   Random sequences of numbers just can’t give you that kind of peace!

Most Holy Ancestress of Christ, pray for us!

Anna rejoices, released from her barrenness,
and nurses her most pure child.
She calls all people to glorify Him
Who gave the Virgin Mother to mankind from her womb.

                                                                  Kontakion Tone 2

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