Mother of the Virgin, Mystic, Maternal Heroine, Woman of Amram
St. Anne was always honored as a saint from the earliest days. However, in 1584 she was officially recognized as a saint by the Church.
Patron saint of mothers and women in labor and minors is symbolized by Mary in her lap holding the infant Jesus.
The name ‘Anne’ derives from Hebrew. “Hannah” meaning “grace”. Saint Ann was born in Bethlehem and married Joachim from Nazareth in Galilee. Joachim was a shepherd given the task of supplying the temple of Jerusalem with sheep for sacrifices. After twenty years of marriage Ann and Joachim had no children. Once, when Joachim overheard ridicule because of their childless state, he is said to have gone into the desert to plead with God to give them a child. After a time of fasting an angel appeared to assure Joachim he and Ann would be given a child they were to name Mary and dedicate to God.
The life of Saint Ann and her connection as holy mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus was very popular to early Christians. In the year 550 a church was built in honor of St. Anne in Jerusalem. It is believed to be near where Anne, Joachim and Mary lived. After her birth Ann and Joachim dedicated Mary to God at the temple of Jerusalem and she spent much of her childhood there. When Mary was fourteen they betrothed her to Joseph of Nazareth and so Mary’s story continues with the birth of her son, Jesus, and his life on earth.
Good St. Anne, you were especially favored by God to be the mother of the most holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Savior. By your power with your most pure daughter and with her divine Son, kindly obtain for us the grace and the favor we now seek. Please secure for us also forgiveness of our past sins, the strength to perform faithfully our daily duties and the help we need to persevere in the love of Jesus and Mary. Amen.