St. Joachim is regarded as the father of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. Tradition has it that Saint Joachim was a retired priest or holy man.
St. Joachim and his wife St. Anne were in the decline of life when Mary was born. Tradition says that while Joachim was away from home he had a vision that Anne was to be blessed with a child, and that on his return home, his wife ran forth to tell of the visitation of an angel who had revealed to her the same good tidings. There was ancient belief that a child born of an elderly mother who had given up hope of having offspring was destined for some high purpose and would be blessed by all the world. He is believed to have given Mary to the service of the Temple when the girl was three years old.
St. Joachim is mentioned in neither historical or canonical writings, but is still widely revered and is the namesake of many church institutions. The only source of information about St. Joachim is the non-biblical Gospel of James, an apocryphal book that was nonetheless widely read. In the 1500s and 1600s, St. Joachim's image appeared on many European coins including the famous Joachim's Taler, a silver coin made for the Counts of Schlick in Bohemia in about 1520.
In the Catholic tradition, St. Joachim is the Patron Saint of fathers, grandfathers, grandparents, married couples, cabinet makers and linen traders. He is shown in old art forms always as an old man often in the company of his wife Anne, and, it is thought, sometimes with the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The traditional tomb of St. Anne and St. Joachim was rediscovered in Jerusalem in 1889. The saints day for St. Joachim is July 26th, as recorded from the 2nd Vaticanum.
Images of Saint Joachim are often identified by the presence of some of his associated symbols, such as a book or scroll representing linen makers and doves representing peace. On the Order's insignia he is shown with a shepherd's staff, a symbol for the Christian word and an emblem of the good shepherd. His robes are of green, a symbol of hope.
The Order took its name from St. Joachim. Although The Order of St. Joachim was founded as a secular order, and Dukes of Saxe-Coburg Saalfeld were protestant rulers, it was not uncommon in the 18th century to name undertakings after saints who embodied the ideals to be emulated.
The name Joachim in Hebrew means "God Prepares", or "God Will Establish".