Long story short, Joachim and Anne were childless, and thought that this was a sign of God’s displeasure. St. Joachim went off and did penance, and God, His ways being unsearchable and perfect, told St. Joachim to go home to St. Anne, and they would conceive a child. At the same time St. Anne was told in a locution to go meet her husband at the Golden Gate, and that they would conceive.
This image is by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel, and is stunning in its bold depiction of marital love. Especially for ARSH 1305.
The Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived naturally in the marital embrace, albeit without the stain of Original Sin. But she was conceived naturally by her elderly, up to then barren parents. The Embrace at the Golden Gate communicates with subtle yet unmistakable clarity the marital love and even “romance” between these Saints, and their kiss is symbolic of the subsequent conjugal act that resulted in the Immaculate Conception. It is especially edifying to see this in these dark days wherein anything to do with the marital embrace is being warped, twisted and perverted, and we’re all at risk of becoming totally cynical, or already are, with regards to marriage and its fruits.
Romeo and Juliet? Phuff. For REAL romance, it’s Joachim and Anne.