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Anne (fl. 1st c.)

Anne (fl. 1st c.)

Saint. Name variations: Ann, Anna; (Hebrew) Hanna or Hannah. Born in the 1st century into the tribe of Juda; married Joachim; children: Mary. In the apocryphal gospels, the mother of Mary (the names of Mary's parents are not found in the New Testament).

According to tradition, Anne was the wife of St. Joachim and mother—after 21 years of barrenness—of Mary the Virgin , mother of Jesus. Wrote María de Agreda :

St. Joachim had his family and his house at Nazareth. Illumined by heavenly light, he constantly implored God to Fulfil his promises. He was humble, proud, pure, and deeply sincere. For her part, Anne asked that a spouse be given her who would help her to keep the divine law. Joachim addressed the same prayer to the Lord. Their union in marriage was destined by God, and that from them should be born the mother of the Incarnate Word.

Although she is not mentioned in the Scriptures, Anne's cult was popular as early as the 4th century. In the year 550, Emperor Justinian built a basilica in her honor in Constantinople.

St. Anne is invoked as the patron of women in labor. In art, she is usually represented as an elderly woman, almost always accompanied by her tiny daughter. Her principal shrines, Ste. Anne d'Auray in Brittany, France, and Ste. Anne de Beaupré in Quebec, Canada, are famous places of pilgrimage. It is said that Anne appeared to Yves Nicolazic de Keranna near Auray from 1623 to 1625. The feast of St. Anne—once suppressed by Pope Pius V, reestablished by Gregory XIII in 1594, and ordained a public holiday by Gregory XV in 1622—is celebrated on July 26.

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