St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Anne (Hebrew, Hannah, grace; also spelled Ann, Anna) is the wife of Joachim, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandmother to our Savior Jesus Christ. Her name means “grace” or “the gracious one” or “the loving one.”
We have limited knowledge about Saint Anne. She is not mentioned in the New Testament, and we must depend on apocryphal literature, chiefly the Protoevangelium of James, which dates back only to the second century. In this document we are told that Anne, wife of Joachim, was advanced in years and that her prayers for a child had not been answered. Once as she prayed beneath a laurel tree near her home in Galilee, an angel appeared and said to her, “Anne, the Lord hath heard thy prayer and thou shalt conceive and bring forth, and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world.” Anne replied, “As the Lord my God liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life “ And thus Anne became the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Blessed Virgin Mary was just three years old when Ss. Anne and Joachim led their daughter to the Temple steps, saw her pass into the inner sanctuary, and then saw her no more. The holiest parents on earth could not, in the plan of God, raise this Child as was needed. Ss. Anne and Joachim humbly adored the Divine Will, and continued to watch and pray, until God called them to unending rest.
“Good Saint Anne” is the loving way that many Catholics address the mother of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. Fifty years after Saint Anne’s death, her body was brought to France by Saint Mary Magdalene and her companions in the year 47. Countless churches have been dedicated to Saint Anne all over the world. Canada in particular is devoted to her, and has a beautiful shrine named for her there, called “Saint Anne de Beaupré”
Simplicity is the secret by which we gain Saint Anne’s intercession and her protection. She taught her Blessed Daughter to read the Holy Scripture, seeing in Her the fulfillment of all its prophesies. Her feast day and that of Saint Joachim is observed on July 26th.
Prayer to Saint Anne
With love, I come to you St. Anne. By your virtues and holiness, you merited from God the favour of giving life to her who is the Treasure of all graces, the Most Holy Virgin. Receive me, good St. Anne, into the number of your true clients, for so I profess myself and wish to remain throughout my entire life. Obtain for me, from God, the power to imitate those virtues with which you are so plentifully endowed. Help me to know and regret my sins bitterly. Obtain for me the grace of active love for Jesus and Mary, and resolution to fulfill the duties of my state of life with faithfulness. Save me from every danger that confronts me in life, and help me at the hour of my death. Amen.