Did you know that St. Anne is the patron saint of miners? In medieval times, the Virgin Mary and Jesus were often compared to precious metals of silver and gold. Hence, the lives that came from the womb of St. Anne made her the source of precious riches.
Unlike Mary, St. Anne was not conceived without sin — but nevertheless, she would one day raise the Mother of God. That’s a pretty big deal! What was it about St. Anne that prompted God to give her such a significant role in the history of salvation? There’s no way to know for sure, but there is one thing we can definitely say about St. Anne — God uses those who put themselves at His service, and that is precisely what St. Anne did.
Not much is mentioned about St. Anne in the Bible, but her name derives from the longer name “Hannah,” or the Hebrew word for “grace.” We understand that having believed herself to be barren for 20 years, an angel appeared to Anne and told her that she would soon have a daughter that she should name Mary.
When Mary was finally born, after many years of frustration and infertility on her parents’ part, Anne did just as she promised — she dedicated Mary to the Lord, and raised a holy woman who would mother Christ Himself!
Early Christians are said to have been very intrigued by the story of Jesus’ grandmother and, around the year 550, erected a church in Jerusalem where St. Anne, her husband, Joachim, and Mary are said to have lived.
Although we do not know much more about St. Anne, we can assume that she was a very holy woman based on the woman her daughter, Mary, grew to be. Anne was the one from whom Mary learned to be a mother. She was the one from whom Mary learned to serve God. She was the one who instilled in Mary the confidence and faith to say “yes” to God — “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
There is no doubt that St. Anne was a humble, holy woman. She was given a great gift — a child — who she readily gave back to God. And, thanks to her faith-filled gratitude to God for His gift, Mary opened her heart to the will of God and became the mother of Christ.
Talk about stewardship in action!
The Feast of St. Anne is celebrated on July 26.