Tuesday, April 1, 2008

St Anne - Patroness of Christian Mothers

Patroness of Christian Mothers...in this day and age when motherhood, christianity, morals and the very foundation of society are under attack, we as mothers, are much in need of heavenly patrons to turn to. How can we ever understand the sublime importance of mothers? Think of the saying, 'The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world' and we all can say, “Oh, don’t I know it!!!”

It is because we have been entrusted with such a blessed vocation, one that has such great influence over others, we are in need of grace, support and guidance everyday and who better to turn to than those saints who were given that same mission in life and can intercede to Our Lord for us with great understanding and empathy?

When we look at St Anne we are looking at a mother who was entrusted by God, with “tainted nature’s solitary boast” (as Wordsworth so beautifully put it.) – Our Lady. Besides Our Blessed Mother herself, who else can give us a better example of motherhood? The manual Good St Anne, (pgs 31-33) has much to say about why one of St Anne’s primary patronages is to assist mothers:

“St Anne is the great model of all in the married state and of those otherwise charged with the education of children. Great was her honor in being the mother of the Mother of God and in giving to a lost world the Advocate of Mercy. Sublime was her office in instructing this blessed child in virtue and holiness.

St Anne herself was a “vessel of grace” not in name only, but in the possession of those gifts with which God has endowed her to be the worthy mother of the Virgin Mary. Her motherly care for the Blessed Virgin was the means of St Anne’s sanctification. Because of this she receives and will receive a special glory in the Church to the end of ages.

How encouraging this is to all parents who make the holy education of their children their principle duty. By this they glorify their Creator, perpetuate His honor on earth and sancify their own souls. From the hands of the parents God will one day require the souls of their children. Happy will those parents be who can say to the Divine Judge: “Not one of those whom Thou hast given me has been lost through my fault.”

Realizing, therefore, the great duty she has in rearing her children well, the Catholic mother will daily recommend her children to God and pray especially to St Anne for the gift of imparting to them a good training, the highest and most difficult of all arts.

St Anne obtains many graces, priceless graces, for all who venerate her, but she grants her maternal assistance in particular to Christian mothers who choose her for their patroness and model. Numberless examples prove that St Anne obtains great favour for Christian mothers.

She preserves peace in married life, restores harmony in discord and often wonderfully changes the bad disposition of a husband or wife. She protects the birth of children in an extraordinary manner; bestows blessings that lighten the task of rearing children properly; brings wayward children back upon the right path; obtains restoration to health for the mother when sick; preserves her precious life for her family, for her helpless children; and prevents the loss of husband and father. She revealed to St Bridget that she would protect all who live chastely and peacefully in the married state. (My emphasis, as this often makes me cry.)

St Anne is glorious among the Saints, not only because she is the mother of Mary, but also because she gave Mary to God. She did not hesitate to sacrifice this child, her greatest joy, to the call to God, dedicating her at the age of three to His service in the Temple. In this she is a beautiful example to parents to foster and encourage vocations to the religious life among their children, rather than running the dread risk of hindering them. Through the intercession of St Anne, parents come to know and acknowledge divine guidance and learn that children are born to them not for earthly ends, but for God.”

The above, lengthy passage is one that I have read over and over and over again. I’ve cried, sighed and pondered over many of those words. I have printed up sentences and statements from it and pinned it around my home as a reminder of her heavenly patronage in times of deep suffering and need and next week I’d like to share my thoughts on it all.


Meredith said...

Another beautiful post on St. Anne. Thank you so much, I am so enjoying these lovely posts about Our Lady's mother and my patron. St. Anne, pray for us!

Lillian said...

What a beautiful reflection. I loved all the quotes you chose and am printing this out right now. Thank you.