I never knew my paternal grandmother, she died long before I was born, my Salvationist maternal grandmother “Went to Glory” when I was six.
Both of my Beloved’s grandmothers died when they were relatively young, so he didn’t have the pleasure of knowing either.
We were more fortunate with our grandfathers; we knew them all in our youth.
Now we ourselves are grandparents – Goodness!
This reverie was brought on by my discovery that the Feast Day assigned to Jesus’grandparents is July 26th, and furthermore they, Anne and Joachim - are the Patron Saints of Grandparents – how about that?
We don’t really know their names of course, but Anna and Joachim are what Mary’s parents are traditionally called.
What we do know for a fact is that Our Lords dear mother had parents the same as everyone else.
That’s about it – all else is speculation.
By the children it is often possible to learn a lot about the parents, and I think we can safely say that Mary was piously and lovingly brought up, to be faithful, wise, loving, courageous, obedient and devoted to both God and to her dear son.
That says a lot about her parents and their parenting of her.
Lots of stories are told regarding Anne and Joachim, but they are just that – stories told by people wanting to put “Flesh on the bones” of Our Lords grandparents.
Were they with the group that went up to Jerusalem, did they join the frantic search for the 12year old Jesus?
We’ll never know, nothing about them is written in the Gospels - what a pity.
We possibly have one story in the West porch of St. Mary’s, look at the top roundel on the right hand side and you can make out the figure of an angel, with sheep and a shepherd. Sometimes described as “Angel and shepherd in the fields” but by some as
“The Annunciation to Joachim” – and the child so announced was to be St. Mary.
In his fine book on Rushden Hall, Clive Wood describes the carving over the fireplace in the main entrance or paneled room thus:
“It is a Flemish carving possibly 15C. In the background are figures embracing, could be Anne being comforted by an Angel from God saying she and Joachim would have a child, even though they were rather elderly - - Joachim was a nomadic Jew who spent time in the wilderness, whether with sheep - who knows?”
In the centre foreground is Our Lady St. Mary, holding her child Jesus on her lap, with her mother Anne behind her holding out an orange or similar (Grannie’s treat?)
So come on you grandparents - write down your memories for YOUR grandchildren. They matter and so do you– you are SPECIAL. Make the most of it!

  ​​Joy Yorke