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A legend, the dictionary says, is “a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.” Today’s feast in Christianity celebrates the parents of Mary, mother of Jesus, even though we know nothing factual about them except the fact that they existed. Even their names (Anne and Joachim) come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died. “The heroism and holiness of these people, however,” (says franciscanmedia.com) “is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.”

I smile as I think of St. Anne, whose name I carry (Lois ANN) and have cherished as grandmother throughout my life, imagining what she must have been like. I see her caring for and teaching Mary the small tasks of the household and showering her with love as my own mother did with me. There is comfort and joy and no harm at all, I think, in this kind of imagining and so I will go about this day reflecting on this spiritual grandmother of mine whose life gave birth and much more to the one we call Blessed.