Saint Anne is the mother of the Virgin Mary and the wife of Saint Joachim. She is the grandmother of Jesus, the Savior Christ. In the Bible, the parents of the Blessed Virgin are not mentioned. The Apocryphal Gospels, and especially the "Gospel of James", are a source of information concerning the origin of Saint Anne. It is known that Anne was of the priestly line of Aaron through her mother, and probably of the royal line of David by her father. Her husband Joachim was himself a descendant of David. At birth, the little girl received the name of Anne which means grace of God, she had an older sister who was the mother of Saint Elizabeth, herself mother of Saint John the Baptist.
The holy couple lived in Nazareth, where Joachim's house was, and for a long time they remained without children. They endured this trial courageously, constantly praying and begging the Lord to grant them a child. Yet Anne's mysterious sterility was at the heart of God's plan: "Mary was to be the daughter of grace rather than of flesh and blood, she was to come from Heaven rather than from Earth, God alone could give the world such a divine fruit." In addition to their prayers, fasts and alms, Anne and Joachim promised the Lord to dedicate the child to Him. As they advanced in age, Anne, in prayer at the Temple of Jerusalem, received from the Lord the certainty that her prayer was answered. Indeed, she noticed her pregnancy shortly afterward. Mary's nativity, as well as her conception, was miraculous. Saint Anne was spared the pains of childbirth, and extraordinary natural phenomena took place at the time of the Virgin's birth. When Mary was three years old, her parents took her to the Temple of Jerusalem to be consecrated to the Lord among the virgins of the Temple. This gift, so holy and so great, is reminiscent of that of Mary, who on Calvary, would offer her son for the salvation of the world. The precise date of the death of Saint Anne is not known. It is thought, however, that after giving their darling daughter, the holy parents experienced a painful old age and died while Mary was still in the Temple.
Several mystics, such as St Brigitte of Sweden, have received rich revelations that shed light on the lives of the Virgin's parents. The work reported by Maria Valtorta in particular contains precise information concerning the life of Saint Anne.
France has inherited the relics of Saint Anne, which today lie at Apt in Vaucluse. Indeed, the worship of Saint Anne has existed there since the twelfth century. Saint Anne and Saint Joachim are celebrated together on August 26. They are patron saints of grandparents, Saint Anne is also the patron saint and protector of the sailors.
Discover other saints who have lived with the Virgin Mary and Jesus: Saint Joseph, Saint Elizabeth, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Mary Magdalene, Saint Veronica, the holy apostles: Saint John, Saint Peter, Saint Matthew, etc.
Devotion to Saint Anne first developed in the East as the veneration for the Virgin Mary grew, with particular the recognition by the Church of the Virgin Theotokos, that is to say, the Mother of God. St Anne is often depicted teaching her daughter to read the book of the Bible.
In Brittany, devotion to Saint Anne dates back to the first evangelization of Armorica in the eighteenth century. The diocese of Vannes has been celebrating Saint Anne since the 15th century, and Saint Anne is the patron saint of Brittany. In all the churches and chapels of Brittany, there is a statue of Saint Anne, sometimes represented with Mary and Jesus, which is then called "Saint Anne of the Trinity". In the Breton region, the tradition of "forgiveness" (pilgrimages for saints and feasts) is deeply rooted, and the forgiveness of Saint Anne of Auray is the most famous.
The story of Saint Anne of Auray begins in the seventeenth century, when Saint Anne appeared in Keranna (a hamlet near Auray already bearing the Breton-language name of Saint Anne) to Yvon Nicolazik and announced to him: “God wants me to be worshiped here”. Soon after, Yvon Nicolazik discovered a miraculous statue of Saint Anne in a field, authenticating the apparitions. Pope John Paul II went on a pilgrimage to Saint Anne of Auray in 1996 to remind the Breton people of the message given by Saint Anne. Saint Anne of Auray is the most important place of pilgrimage to Saint Anne in the world.
Saint Anne intercedes especially for people who wish to meet their soul mate. Many prayers are dedicated to her for this intention, including:
Saint Anne, dear mother, to you rise our songs,
hear our prayer and bless your children.
This place where your presence turns our hearts to God,
fill us with hope by showing us the heavens.
Chosen by God the Father, to give us Mary,
let your example enlighten the hearts that beg you.
Faithful to his promise, your God, your Creator,
in all his wisdom looked at your heart.
Your faith, O good Mother, enlightened your life
and prepared the earth for the reception of the Messiah.
The prayer of a novena, in preparation for a liturgical feast or at any other time of the year, makes it possible to ask the intercession of a saint by praying nine days in a row while deepening your understanding of their life, prayers, and spiritual advice. Novenas are particularly effective for any application. Here are several novenas to Saint Anne: