Bad news for marriage and family life in England today. It’s easy to feel powerless as parliament enacts a fiction that will deceive many and harm us all. What can we do?
As they are the only married saints to share a feast day, I am going to start a novena today to St Joachim and St Anne today. (I hope I have counted correctly!)
The intention will be that the institution of marriage will be strengthened and family life will flourish in England.
I like this version taken from EWTN (modified slightly to include St Joachim, to remove some parts where I felt powers of God almighty himself were being attributed to St Anne and, most importantly to use proper English spelling)
O glorious St. Ann and St Joachim, you are filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care: that the institution of marriage will grow stronger and family life will flourish in England.
Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.
Our Father, . . . Hail Mary . . .
O Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Ann and St Joachim, help me now and at the hour of my death.
Dear St. Ann and St Joachim, though I am but a prodigal child, I appeal to you and place myself under your great parental care. Please listen to my prayers and intercede that my requests may be granted. See my contrite heart, and show me your unfailing goodness.
Deign to be my advocate and recommend me to God’s infinite mercy. Obtain for me forgiveness of my sins and the strength to begin a new life that will last forever.
Blessed St. Ann and St Joachim, I also beg of you the grace to love, to serve, and to honour your daughter, the most holy Virgin Mary. Please recommend me to her and pray to her for me. She refuses none your requests but welcomes with loving kindness all those for whom you intercede.
Good Jesus, be merciful to the faithful servants of Your grandparents St. Ann and St Joachim.
From the depths of my heart, good St. Ann and St Joachim, I offer you my homage this day and ask you to shelter me under the mantle of your parental care. Be pleased to extend your helping hand in all my wants. Listen to my prayers, for I place my trust in you.
Jesus, I thank You for all the graces which in Your infinite goodness You have lavished upon St. Ann; for having chosen her, among all women, to be Your grandmother on earth and exalted her in heaven. In the name of her merits, and those of St Joachim I humbly recommend myself to Your infinite mercy.
Hail, good St. Ann, who first responded to the needs of Mary, Mother of our Saviour and Queen of Angels. Hail to you and to your husband St. Joachim, who watched over her infancy, presented her to the Lord in the temple and, according to your promise, consecrated her to the service of God.
Hail St. Ann, good mother! I rejoice in the marvels you continually perform, because they encourage all to seek your intercession.
Good St. Ann, by the great power that God has given you, show yourself my mother, my consoler, my advocate. Reconcile me to the God I have so deeply offended. Console me in my trials; strengthen me in my struggles. Deliver me from danger in my time of need. Help me at the hour of death that gates of paradise may be opened to me.
Good St. Joachim and St. Ann, you offered your pure and holy daughter Mary in the temple with faith, piety and love. By the happiness which then filled your hearts, I beg you to present me to your Grandson Jesus. Offered by you, I will be agreeable in His sight.
Kind St. Ann, take me forever under your protection. Deliver me from the temptations which continually assail me. Above all, attend me in my last hour. As I lie on my deathbed, be present with your daughter to console and strengthen me.
Holy Mary and good St. Ann, show yourselves to be mothers indeed by obtaining for me the grace of a good death. When my soul goes forth, lead it to God’s tribunal so that, by your powerful help and intercession, it may obtain a favourable judgment.
Hail, all-powerful Lady. By God’s special favour, grant consolation to those who invoke you.
Good St. Ann, obtain my deliverance from the punishment which my sins deserve. Obtain for me success in my temporal affairs; especially see to the salvation of my soul.
St. Ann, by your influence with Mary’s son Jesus, you have won the gift of conversion for many sinners. Will you then abandon me, who have chosen you as my mother? No, St. Ann. Your name alone, which signifies grace, assures me of the help of your prayers. You will pray for me now and at the hour of my death.
Good St. Ann and St Joachim, intercede for me that my soul, a masterpiece of God’s creative power, be not lost forever; that my heart be free of pride, vanity, and self-love. May I know myself as I really am and learn meekness and simplicity of heart.
God’s great love for me leaves me cold and unresponsive. I must reflect this love through works of mercy and charity toward my neighbour.
In your boundless charity, good St. Ann, help me to merit the glorious crown which is given to those who have fought the good fight against the world, the devil and the flesh. Assist me to preserve purity of heart and body. With Mary and her divine Son, protect me always.
Once again, Good St. Ann, I choose you for my advocate before the throne of God. By the power and grace that God has placed in you, extend to me your helping hand. Renew my mind and my heart.
Dear St. Ann, I have unbounded confidence in your prayers. Direct my actions according to your goodness and wisdom. I place myself under your motherly care.
Receive me, good mother. Cover me with the mantle of your love. Look kindly on me. By your powerful intercession, may I obtain from God grace and mercy. Obtain for me remission for sin and release from the punishment my offenses have deserved. Pray that I may receive grace to lead a devout life on earth and that I may obtain the everlasting reward of heaven.
Hail, St. Ann! I rejoice at your exalted glory. You gave birth to Mary, whose divine Son brought salvation to our lost world by conquering death and restoring life and hope to sinners. Pray to Him who, for love of us, clothed Himself with human flesh in the chaste womb of your daughter.
Glorious St. Ann, with your blessed daughter, deliver me from everything that is displeasing in the sight of God. Pray to your gentle and powerful Grandson that He may cleanse my soul in His precious blood, that He may send His Holy Spirit to enlighten and direct me in all that I do, always obedient to His holy inspirations.
Good mother, keep a watchful eye on me. Help me bear all my crosses. Give me the fullness of your bounty and sustain me with courage.
Good St. Ann, I have reached the end of this novena in your honour. I have asked and ask again. Good mother, let not your kind ear grow weary of my prayers, though I repeat them so often.
Bounteous Lady, implore for me from divine Providence all the help I need through life. May your generous hand bestow on me the material means to satisfy my own needs and to alleviate the plight of the poor.
Good St. Ann, fortify me by the sacraments of the Church at the hour of my death. Admit me into the company of the blessed in the kingdom of heaven, where I may praise and thank the adorable Trinity, your grandson Christ Jesus, your glorious daughter Mary, and yourself, dear St. Ann, through endless ages.
Of course I have chosen to pray for England because I am English and live in England. I am sure that St Anne and St Joachim do not have favourites when it comes to countries (although England is their Daughter’s dowry) so feel free to pray for marriage and family life in your country too.
(In a spirit of honestly I must admit that when it comes to novenas, I usually only manage 7 out of 9. However when you think about what our bishops have done to the feast of the Ascension perhaps a Septina is following their example)