Sunday, August 17, 2008

A little history

Although it is not clearly documented, San Joaquín (or Joachim as he is known in other countries) was reputed to be the husband of Saint Anne,  father of Mary and therefore grandfather of Jesus. 

Joaquín was described as a rich and pious man  who regularly gave to the poor and to the temple  at Sepphoris. However, because he and his wife had no children, the high priest rejected Joaquín and his sacrifice. His wife's childlessness was interpreted as a sign of divine displeasure. Joaquín consequently withdrew to the desert where he fasted and did penance for forty days. Angels then appeared to both Joaquín and Anne to promise them a child. He returned to Jerusalem where he embraced Anne at the city gates.

The sculpture of San Joaquín by the Murcian artist Francisco Salzillo, dates from the 17th century. You can normally find it in the right hand chapel of the Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Belén here in the main town square.

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