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The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

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Caitlin Kennell Kim
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Culture, Moral Theology
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Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

I heard Mary’s parents are saints. If that is true, why? They weren’t the ones carrying the Lord to full term.

James Martin, SJ Answers:

They might not have been the ones carrying Jesus to full term but Catholic belief is that Joachim and Anne–the traditional names given to Mary’s parents–were holy people in their right.  (They are, by the way, the patron saints of grandparents.)   We don’t know much about them, if anything at all, other than they must have been devout Jewish parents.  And holiness need not mean doing anything as extraordinary as Mary did–holiness makes its home in humanity.  Moreover, holiness in the Gospels often includes imperfections, too–think of St. Peter, who denied Jesus, and St. Thomas, who doubted him.  Anyway, when it comes to the saints, Joachim and Anne are among my favorites: simple people who probably did their simple task with great love.  And the task of raising Mary, which seemed perhaps so ordinary, produced some extraordinary results.
James Martin, SJ author of My Life with the Saints.
The Author : James Martin, SJ
James Martin SJ is the culture editor of America magazine the national Catholic Weekly published by the Jesuits. He is the author of numerous books including My Life with the Saints and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything but is perhaps best known as "chaplain" to The Colbert Report due to his frequent appearances on the show.
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