|Saint Joachim, Father of
the Virgin Mary
The episodes leading to Joachim's fathering of the Virgin Mary are recounted in the Protevangelium of James, in the third- or fourth-century Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, and in the Golden Legend ("The Nativity of Mary," html or pdf). They are the subject of a group of representations in Giotto's Arena Chapel frescoes. Perhaps the most popular subject among the episodes is Joachim's meeting with St. Anne at the Golden Gate (example from the Arena Chapel).
The saint is usually represented as a man in later middle age, with a long beard that is not always entirely gray.
Feast day: March 20
At left, Benedikt Dreyer's sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum
Predella panel ca. 1500