-From a young age I had great reverence towards the Ancestors of God. Indeed, I had said to someone that, when they make me a monk, I would want them to give me the name Joachim. How much I am indebted to them! Sts. Joachim and Anna are the most dispassionate (in other words without corrupting passions) couple which ever existed. They did not have any carnal attitude.
This is how God made man and this is how he wanted men to be born, dispassionately. But after the fall passion entered the relationship between man and woman. As soon as a dispassionate couple was found, as God created man and as he wished men to be born, the Panagia was born, this pure creation, and then Christ became incarnate. My thoughts tell me that Christ would have descended earlier to earth, if there were a pure pair, such as were Sts. Joachim and Anna.
The Roman Catholics fall into error and believe, supposedly from piety, that Panagia was born without original sin. While Panagia was not free from original sin, she gave birth however as God wished to be born to men after creation. She was all-pure(1), because Her conception occurred without pleasure. The Holy Ancestors of God, after fervent prayer to God to grant them a child, conceived not by sexual lust, but by obedience to God. This fact I had experienced on Sinai. (2)
(1) The Theotokos was born according to a natural manner and not virginally. “She was all-pure”, because as St. John of Damascus writes in his homily “On the Birth of our Most-Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary”, she was conceived “chastely” but increased with her struggle the holiness given to her from her parents, warding off all unnecessary and soul-endangering thoughts before experiencing them.”
(2) The Elder lived in asceticism on Sinai, at Sts. Episteme and Galaction, from 1962 to 1964. This occurance he did not reveal to us."
(Source: Elder Paisios the Athonite, Book IV: Family Life, Holy Hesychasterion of “St. John the Evangelist the Theologian”, Souroti, Thessaloniki 2007; amateur translation of Greek text from: http://orthodox-world.pblogs.gr/2008/05/o-gerontas-paisios-gia-thn-oikogeneiakh-zwh-g.html, http://vatopaidi.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/%ce%bf-%ce%b3%ce%ad%cf%81%ce%bf%ce%bd%cf%84%ce%b1%cf%82-%cf%80%ce%b1%cf%8a%cf%83%ce%b9%ce%bf%cf%82-%ce%bc%ce%b9%ce%bb%ce%ac-%ce%b3%ce%b9%ce%b1-%cf%84%ce%bf%cf%85%cf%82-%ce%b1%ce%b3%ce%af%ce%bf%cf%85/)
Also see: http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=103506, http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2009/09/synaxis-of-holy-righteous-ancestors-of.html.