Last week I talked about Abbot Trithemius a famous monk who had a very strong devotion to the mother of Our Blessed Mother - St Anne. I want to quote from him again and share some of the writings of other saints who have written about St Anne throughout the centuries.
I will start with St Teresa of Avila, my confirmation saint. St Teresa had great devotion to St Anne and it is lovely for me to make another 'connection' to St Teresa, in sharing this devotion to St Anne with her.
St Teresa was often repeated the following words: (quoting Good St Anne pg 30)
"We know and are convinced that our good mother St. Anne helps in all needs, dangers and tribulations, for Our Lord wishes to show us that He will do also in Heaven what she asks of Him for us."
St Teresa is a doctor of the Church, she was a female saint who did much for the church, for her order and the world. (we have her writings to this day) She was one of many doctors who loved St Anne as she recognised in her an advocate par excellence and Good St Anne pg 27 has this to say:
"This highly gifted teacher of prayer delighted to speak of St Anne's dignity and power, and she inspired those under her care with a fervent affection for Our Lady's mother. In all convents of the Carmelite Order, she introduced special devotions to St Anne."
As I have mentioned before, St Anne's cult is a very ancient one, and when you read quotes by saints from the earliest centuries, you know this to be true! St Augustine and St Damascene were two such saints:
"St Augustine, the illustrious Doctor who illumined the Church of God with his profound wisdom, practiced an ardent devotion to St. Anne. Every year on the Saint's feast, he preached on her virtues and dignity with an eloquence which encouraged and inspired his numberous hearers."
(Good St Anne pg 26)
"St John Damascene, another Doctor of the Church, not only most ardently venerated Mary, but St Anne as well. He preached many sermons in her honor and composed books that treated of her glory and dignity. "St Anne," he declares in his writing, "is a generous mother, a compassionate mother, a gracious mother, because the word 'Anne' means 'generous, merciful, gracious.' "
(Good St Anne pg 26)
I have no idea whether the books written by St John Damascene on St Anne are still accessible today, I'd hope so....I think I'll try to find out. His writings would be something special if the line above is anything to go by, which I'll repeat:
"St Anne is a generous mother, a compassionate mother, a gracious mother, because the word 'Anne' means 'generous, merciful, gracious.' "
I am going to meditate on that passage tonight, it is so very reassuring.
There are more quotes to share from the saints, certainly more than this post can accommodate, so I'll finish with a closing quote from Abbbot Trithemius:
"Approach St Anne, your amiable protectress, with full confidence. Knock at her gates with persevering prayer, because she can obtain for you the forgiveness of your sins and can open Heaven for you. She lacks nothing that can profit you...Believe me, who have already obtained many a favor through her whom the Queen of Heaven honors as her dearest mother....No one knows, no one believes how many favors God confers on lovers of St Anne!"