“The Immaculate Conception refers to the condition that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from Original Sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne.”
“The proclaimed Roman Catholic dogma states "that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin”. Being always free from original sin, she was from the start filled with the sanctifying grace that would normally come with baptism after birth.“
St. Anne and St. Joachim (1st c. B.C.) are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus. Their names have been preserved in Church tradition since the second century, although not much is known of their lives. It is speculated that St. Joachim and St. Ann, although wealthy, lived a devout and simple life of voluntary poverty, chastity, and generosity to the poor. After long suffering from infertility and praying for a child, both Joachim and Anne, in their old age, were visited by an angel who announced that they would give birth to a very special child. It was from their holy marriage that the Immaculate Conception was brought into the world. When the Child Mary was three years old they dedicated her to God and presented her to live in the Jerusalem temple. St. Anne is the patroness of wives, expectant mothers, pregnancy, women in labor, grandmothers, childless couples, and against poverty and sterility. St. Joachim is the patron of fathers and grandfathers. Their feast day is July 26th.
O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation you have promised to your people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.