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Saint Anne

Saint Anne
  • Century: 1st Century
  • Patronage: Childless People, Homemakers/Housewives, Lost Articles, Miners, Mothers, Poverty, Pregnancy
  • Feast Day: July 26th

Patronage – Childless People, Homemakers/Housewives, Lost Articles, Miners, Mothers, Poverty, Pregnancy, Seamstresses, Stablemen

St. Anne is from the Hebrew word Hannah, meaning “favor” or “grace”.  St. Anne is from the David’s house line, and was the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ.  St. Anne was born in Bethlehem, and her husband was born in Nazareth. 

She like her husband St. Joachim has very little written about them.  All of our information concerning the name of St. Anne as the Mother of Mary is derived from the apocryphal literature, the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary of St. James.  This writing goes back to about 150 AD, and was strongest in the Eastern, Orient church.  The fathers of the church rejected it until the 13th century, and from that time on; the story of St. Anne became one of the most popular saints of the Latin Church.  

That story gives the following account: in Nazareth there lived a rich and pious couple, Joachim and Anne.  They were childless.  When on a feast day Joachim presented himself to offer sacrifice in the temple, he was repulsed because men without offspring were unworthy to be admitted.  With this action, Joachim did not return home, but went into the mountains to make his plan with God, in solitude.  Anne, having learned the reason for the long absence of her husband, cried out to the Lord to take away from her the curse of sterility, promising to dedicate her child to the service of God.  Their prayers were heard, and an Angel came to Anne and said, “The Lord has looked upon thy tears; thou shalt conceive and give birth and the fruit of thy womb shall be blessed by all the world”.  The Angel made the same promise to Joachim, who returned to his wife.  

The supposed relics of St. Anne were brought from the Holy Land to Constantinople in 710 and were kept there in the church of St. Sophia until 1333.  The tradition is that the body of St. Anne was brought by St. Lazarus, the friend of Christ, and eventually ended up in the Magnificent Chapel in 1664.  She is also the patroness of miners, Christ being compared to gold, and Mary to Silver.   

Since the 7th Century the Greek and Russian Churches have celebrated the Feast of St. Anne.  The Western Churches began to celebrate the feast of St. Anne in the 16th Century.  Again, there is no mention of St. Anne in the New Testament, the story comes chiefly from the Protevangelium of St. James, which only dated back to the year 150.  

Practical Take Away

With little being known or written about St. Anne, we can assume that her life as the Mother of Mary, our Blessed Virgin, had to be one that was in close union with God.  Imagine not being able to bear children, until late in life, when an Angel appears to you in prayer and tells you, you will conceive a child.  The importance on that child would be so wonderful, so spiritual, that you would always remain close to God to ensure that relationship with God for your child.  We too, can always stay close to God and our union with Him will reveal His Will for us.  St. Anne is patron saint of many things, don’t forget to call upon her to intercede on your behalf.