THE PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, FEAST: NOVEMBER 21
Joachim was united in marriage with Anna, a most excellent and praiseworthy woman. Like that first Anna, who was barren but who through prayer and a vow bore Samuel, this Anna, through her supplications and a promise received from God – the very Mother of God – that in this she might not be inferior in any way to those other illustrious matrons. Thus grace (for the name Anna means grace) brings forth the Lady (for the name Mary means Lady). Truly she becomes the lady among all created beings, since she was the Mother of the Creator. Mary first saw the light of day in the house of Joachim near the Probatica, and was brought to the temple. Like a flower planted in the house of God, nurtured by the Holy Spirit, like a fruitful olive tree, she became the abode of all virtues. She dispelled from her mind every desire of this life or of the flesh. She preserved virginity in soul and body as became her who was to receive God into her bosom.
– From the book of St John Damascene on the orthodox faith, from: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964