Retablo Series. Sts. Anne and Joachim

Saints Anne and Joaquin

Saint Anne.  Santo de bulto, located on the first level, second statue from the left or left side of the central niche, main altar. Referred to as the traditional name of the mother of the Blessed Mary, the icon is often represented as a middle-aged woman dressed in white and blue cloak with Joachim and sometimes shown holding Mary.

The image of these three figures is often confused with the Holy Family version. It is not surprising to have St. Joachim on the either side of the central niche as this only echo the traditional representation discussed above. St. Anne is patroness of women in labor, a concept related to birth and thus, related to the origin of the town’s name. She is also patroness of miners, Christ being compared to gold and Mary to silver (Holweck).

Saint Joachim. Santo de bulto, located on the first level, third statue from left or right side of the central niche, main altar. The saint is attributed as the father of the Virgin. The polychrome statue is traditionally an elderly bearded man, clothed in red tunic and green cloak carrying a staff. His tradition just like St. Anne is from apocryphal writings and only formalized by the popes (Souvay). His presence in the retablo completes the genealogy of Mary and that of Jesus for easy understanding personalities.

This is part of the series deciphering the iconography of Silang Parish Retablo in Cavite.


Holweck, Frederick. “St. Anne.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907.

Souvay, Charles. “St. Joachim.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910.