Mother of the Virgin Mary and Grandmother of Jesus
Nothing is found in the New Testament referring to the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Tradition refers to an Ann and Joachim as being the parents of Blessed Virgin Mary. Although not found in the Bible, Joachim and Ann are given credence in the Protoevangelium of James (a non-biblical “gospel”) attributed to an author of the second century.
Tradition has it that 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 many years of marriage Ann and Joachim were still childless. It is believed that after their daughter’s birth Ann and Joachim dedicated Mary to God at the temple of Jerusalem and that there she spent much of her childhood. When Mary was a young teenager her parents betrothed her
to Joseph of Nazareth.
Devotions to Saint Ann and her connection as the holy mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus were very popular in the early Church. In the sixth century a church was built in honor of Saint Anne in Jerusalem. It is believed to be near where Anne, Joachim and Mary lived.
Since the seventh century the Greek and Russian Churches have celebrated feasts honoring Saint Joachim and Saint Ann. The Western Church began to celebrate the feast of Saint Anne sixteenth century. The feast of Saint Ann is July 26th (western calendar) or July 25th (eastern calendar).
Saint Ann is honored as the patron saint of mothers, women in labor, and
minors; and she is depicted with Mary, who is holding the infant Jesus
on her lap.
Prayer to Saint Anne
Glorious Saint Anne, you are a creature of privilege, for you merited from God the favor of giving life to her who was blessed among women, the Mother of the Word Incarnate. Take us, and all who are dear to us, under your special care. Help us to grow in devotion to your daughter and our Mother, Mary, so that in honoring you we may become worthy of her favor and the love of her Divine Son.
Saint Anne, Mother of the Virgin Mary, pray for us.
PRAYER FOR A SPECIAL FAVOR
Good Saint 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.
(Mention your request here)
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.
PRAYER BEFORE SAINT ANNE’S STATUE OR PICTURE
Dearest Saint Anne, it is you I wish to honor in your statues and images. They are the tangible representations of the mysteries of divine love that were accomplished in you. The sight of your holding the infant Virgin Mary brings to my mind a clearer understanding of your role in Christ’s Redemption of mankind.
You are the woman whom God the Father called to prepare a Mother for His Only Begotten Son. This little Virgin in your arm will soon grow to be the mother of the Son of God. Because you are her Mother, you share in her privileges. The amazing mystery of the Immaculate Conception was accomplished within your body. When time came, you gave birth to Mary. Then, you prepared her for the dazzling role of Mother of God which was to be hers.
Saint Anne, the reason for your holiness is your closeness to God. You are the privileged one who has been chosen to be the mother of the Mother of God.
Dearest Saint Anne, pray for me and for all my fellowmen. Have special prayers and blessings for the sick and afflicted, for the hungry and needy.
Obtain for all men the priceless gift of mutual love in God and for peace.