Saint Anne was mother of Mary and the grandmother of Jesus Christ.
What little we know about Saint Anne comes from the apocryphal Gospel of James, also known as the Protoevangelium of James.
According to tradition, Anne was born in Bethlehem and married Joachim of Nazareth, both descendants of King David.
Joachim is described as “a rich and devout man,” who regularly gave to the poor and “made a double offering to the temple” in expiation for his sins.
Because Anne was barren, the temple priest rejected Joachim’s sacrifice, as childlessness was interpreted as a sign of divine displeasure. There was no greater misfortune for a Jewish person than to be childless.
Had not God promised to His people, through Abraham, “descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore”?
Joachim consequently “went into the desert to fast and pray” for forty days and forty nights. But Anne remembered the faith of her ancestors, and with renewed courage prayed:
“God of my fathers, bless me: Hear my prayer, as You blessed the womb of Sarah, and gave her a son Isaac!”. Her prayer was heard:
“Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to her and said: ‘Anne, Anne, the Lord has heard your prayer: You shall conceive and bear, and your offspring shall be spoken of in all the world.
In an outpouring of faith, she who was to be Mary’s mother immediately consecrated her future offspring. An angel appeared also to Joachim, saying:
“Joachim, Joachim, God has heard your prayer. Go on your way, for your wife will conceive”.
And Joachim offered a thanksgiving sacrifice of ten she-lambs without spot or blemish for the Lord God, twelve tender calves for the priests and elders, and a hundred goats for all the people. He then returned to Jerusalem and embraced Anne at the city gate.
Glorious St. Anne,
filled with compassion for those who invoke thee,
and with love for those who suffer,
heavily laden with the weight of my troubles,
I cast myself at thy feet
and humbly beg of thee to take the present affair
which I recommend to thee under thy special protection.
Vouchsafe to recommend it to thy Daughter,
the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and lay it before the throne of Jesus,
so that He may bring it to a happy issue.
Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted.
Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day
beholding my God face to face,
and with thee and Mary and all the Saints,
praising and blessing Him to all eternity.
(Mention Your Request)
Good St. Anne,
mother of her who is our Life,
our Sweetness and our Hope,
pray to her for us,
and obtain our request. (3 times)