From the Gospel:
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Luke 1, 41-45
St. Anne's life:
According to Mary of Agreda, a Conceptionist religious of the 17th century who wrote a series of revelation about the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Anne and Joachim were respectively forty-four and sixty-six years old when their daughter came to the world.
While Anne's pregnancy was physiologically uneventful, her soul became a battlefield between God and Lucifer. The latest tried to instill doubt in her spirit, and convince her that she wasn't pregnant after all. He surrounded her soul with despair and sadness, but Anne resisted patiently, opposing faith and prayer. Anne had also to deal with the mean behavior of other women, who mocked her for being pregnant at such an advanced age.
But God is always present, and he protects his maidservant. Anne gave birth in the gentlest way possible, with no hint of suffering, thus circumventing Eve's curse. For that reason, Anne is the Saint who intercedes on behalf of the pregnant mother, and assists during delivery. She is also the protector of the unborn child.
The Church's teaching:
Pregnancy is a difficult but wonderful time. A mother joins with God to bring forth the miracle of a new life. Motherhood is the fruit of a “particular creative potential of the female body, directed to the conception and birth of a new human being.” Each woman shares in “the mystery of creation, which is renewed with each birth.” The Psalmist says: “You knit me together in my mother's womb” (Ps 139:13). Every child growing within the mother's womb is part of the eternal loving plan of God the Father: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jer1:5). Each child has a place in God's heart from all eternity; once he or she is conceived, the Creator's eternal dream comes true. Let us pause to think of the great value of that embryo from the moment of conception. We need to see it with the eyes of God, who always looks beyond mere appearances.
Pope Francis, in Amoris Laetitia, § 168
Let us pray:
On this day, Saint Ann, we lift up in our prayers the expecting mothers in our families. We ask you to intercede on behalf of these women, may they be granted confidence and strength to dispel their anxiety and fear. Bless them with your courage and faith, teach them to always listen to the will of God and trust in his loving care. As they prepare to bring new life into the world, grace them with good health and great joy.
Let us also pray for the unborn babies: O St. Anne, protect them from all attack against rising life. May we acknowledge that God loves them since all eternity, may we remember that they are the saints of tomorrow. Give us the courage, O St. Anne, to proclaim the supreme dignity of all human life, including the life of the unborn child since the moment of conception.
Saint Anne, we pray you,
Be the guard
Of faith in our hearts,
Of grace in our souls,
Of the solidity of our homes
Of love in our family
Of reconciliation in the Church
Of peace in the world.
Keep alive in us
The virtue of hope.
- One Our Father, one Hail Mary, One Glory Be.
- Say once “St. Anne, pray for us and our families.”
- A rosary decade, or even a full rosary (five decades).
- “St. Anne, pray for us and our families.”
Recommended reading: Amoris Laetitia, by Pope Francis.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6