September 9, 2020

The Cave Where Saint Joachim, the Father of the Theotokos, Prayed for Forty Days and Nights

The cave where Saint Joachim, the father of the Theotokos, spent forty days and nights in prayer and fasting, as recorded in the Protoevangelion of James, is located above the Monastery of Chozeba in the Holy Land, which is dedicated to the Theotokos. Weeping here for forty days and nights, with fasting and praying over the infertility of Saint Anna his wife, who was doing the same as her husband within the confines of their home, because they were considered outcasts for being childless, Joachim said: "I shall not descend even for a drink until my Lord and my God visits me." He was visited by an Angel at this time who proclaimed to him the good news of the conception of the Panagia, through whom the salvation of humanity was accomplished. This cave had also previously been visited by the Prophet Elijah, when he fled the wrath of Queen Jezebel, and he went on from here to eventually settle for a time at Mount Sinai.