Sainte Anne, Mother of Mary


Our Patron Saint

Sainte Anne 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 20 years of marriage Anne and Joachim had no children. Once, when Joachim overheard ridicule because of their childless state, he is said to have gone into the desert to plead with God to give them a child. After a time of fasting an angel appeared to assure Joachim he and Anne would be given a child they were to name Mary and dedicate to God.

In the meantime Saint Anne wondered where her husband had gone and in her despair at having been barren she prayed while she watched newborn birds in their nests in her garden. She cried out, “Why was I born, Lord?” That is when angel appeared to tell her she would soon give birth to a daughter she was to name Mary. The story continues with Anne and Joachim’s joyous reunion at the golden gate of Jerusalem.

After her birth Anne and Joachim dedicated Mary to God at the temple of Jerusalem and she spent much of her childhood there. When Mary was fourteen they betrothed her to Joseph of Nazareth and so Mary’s story continues with the birth of her son, Jesus, and his life on earth.

The life of Saint Anne and her connection as holy mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus was very popular to early Christians. In the year 550 a church was built in honor of St. Anne in Jerusalem. It is believed to be near where Anne, Joachim and Mary lived.

The feast of St. Anne is July 26. There is no mention of Anne in the New Testament. The story of St. Anne comes chiefly from the Protoevangelium of James which only dated back to the second century.

St. Anne, patron saint of mothers, women in labor and minors, is symbolized by Mary in her lap holding the infant Jesus.