Saint Anna, St. Anne Wooden Sculpture online. Saint Anne Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Anne and Joachim are the parents of the Virgin Mary. Joachim is a shepherd and lives in Jerusalem, an elderly priest and married to Anne. The two had no children and were an advanced couple. One day while Joachim was working in the fields, an angel appeared to him to announce the birth of a son and Anne had the same vision. They name their child Mary, which means "loved by God." Joachim again brings his gifts to the temple: together with the child ten lambs, twelve calves and one hundred unblemished goats. Later, Mary is taken to the temple to be educated according to the law of Moses. St. Anne is invoked as the protector of pregnant women, who turn to her to obtain three great favors from God: a happy birth, a healthy child and enough milk to be able to raise it. She is the patroness of many trades related to her role as a mother, including laundry workers and embroiderers.
Etymology: Anna = grace, the beneficent, from Hebrew
Recurrence: July 26
Roman Martyrology: Memory of Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of the Immaculate Virgin Mary Mother of God, whose names are preserved by ancient Christian tradition.
Despite the fact that there is little information about St. Anne, and furthermore not from official or canonical texts, her cult is extremely widespread both in the East and in the West.
Almost every city has a church dedicated to her, Caserta considers her its celestial Patron, the name of Anna is repeated in the headings of streets, city districts, clinics and other places; some municipalities bear her name.
The mother of the Virgin, is the holder of several patronages almost all related to Mary, because she carried in her womb the hope of the world, her coat is green, so in Brittany where they are devoted to her, is invoked for the collection of hay, because she kept Mary as a jewel in a box, is the patron saint of goldsmiths and coopers, protects miners, carpenters, cabinetmakers and turners.
Because she taught the Virgin to clean the house, to sew, to weave, she is the patroness of broom makers, weavers, tailors, manufacturers and traders of household cloths and linens.
She is especially the patron saint of mothers, widows, women in childbirth, is invoked in difficult births and against marital sterility.
Anna's name derives from the Hebrew Hannah (grace) and is not mentioned in the canonical Gospels, but it is mentioned in the apocryphal Gospels of the Nativity and Childhood, the oldest of which is the so-called "Protoevangelium of St. James", written no later than the middle of the second century.
Although these writings have not been formally accepted by the Church and also contain heresies, they have ultimately influenced devotion and in the liturgy, because some of the information reported is considered authentic and in tune with tradition, such as the Presentation of Mary in the Temple and the Assumption into Heaven, such as the name of the centurion Longinus who struck Jesus with a lance, the story of Veronica, etc.
The "Protoevangelium of Saint James" narrates that Joachim, husband of Anna, was a pious and very rich man and lived near Jerusalem, near the fountain Piscina Probatica; one day while he was bringing his abundant offerings to the Temple as he did every year, the high priest Reuben stopped him saying: "You do not have the right to do it first, because you have not generated offspring".
Joachim and Anne were married and they really loved each other, but they had no children and, due to their age, they would not have any more; according to the Jewish mentality of the time, the high priest saw the divine curse on them, so they were sterile.
The old rich shepherd, for the love he bore to his wife, did not want to find another woman to have a child; Therefore, grieved by the words of the high priest, he went to the archives of the twelve tribes of Israel to see if what Reuben was saying was true, and when he found that all the pious and observant men had had children, he was distraught and did not have the courage to return home and withdrew to his mountain land and for forty days and forty nights he begged God's help with tears, prayers and fasting.
Anna was also suffering from infertility, and added to this the suffering caused by her husband's "escape"; so, she began to pray intensely, asking God to grant her their request to have a child.
During the prayer an angel appeared to her and announced: "Anna, Anna, the Lord has heard your prayer and you will conceive and give birth and your offspring will be spoken of throughout the world".
So, it happened and after a few months Anna gave birth. The "Proto Gospel of St. James" concludes: "When the necessary days had passed, she purified herself and gave birth to the child, calling her Mary, that is, 'the beloved of the Lord'".