Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Celebrating the life of St Anne ~ Week 3

I hope many ladies can join with me every Tuesday in celebrating the life and cult of St Anne throughout the history of the Church leading up to her feastday on the 26th of July. This is a nine week posting of a beautiful article published in the Catholic newspaper called, Catholic ~ The Voice of Catholic Orthodoxy the article itself is is an exerpt from a book by Rev Fr Myles V Ronan CC, MRIA 1927.

Edit 2011: I have since discovered that the wonderful newspaper that this St Anne article has come from, is put out by the Transalpine Redemptorists on the island of Papa Stronsay in Scotland. I now have their blog linked at the top of my lefthand sidebar, you can order this newspaper/magazine from their site.

Today is week three, here are the previous two postings:

Week 2

During these nine weeks I am also giving away a St Anne gift for each posting (either a St Anne chaplet, rosary or necklace of heirloom quality.) To enter the draw, read the day's posting and answer the question taken from the St Anne story.
Then email me the answer with your name and email address written beside it, if the name and email address is not there, I cannot add you to the draw. I will draw out and announce the winner the following Tuesday and release the photo of the next gift and question and on it goes! Feel free to enter each week's draw.

I ask just one special favour, if you could offer an Ave in honour of St Anne for my sister Carmen who would dearly love to be blessed with a child after nine years of infertility, many grateful thanks.

And so we continue on from last week.....

Charlemagne, having concluded one of his many expeditions, had returned to Apt, but it is not known whether his visit was for the purpose of placing his sword beside that of Caesar on the coat of arms of Apt or of being present at the consecration of the cathedral. As this church was one of the 40 churches he had promised to build if victory crowned his expeditions, it would seem that Providence wished him to be present as a witness of the miraculous discovery of the relics.

On Easter Sunday in the year 792, the Emperor assisted at the Divine Office, surrounded by the faithful and his knights. Suddenly, a youth, blind and a deaf-mute from birth, son of a lord of the place named Caseneuve de Simiane, came into the church like one inspired and led by an invisible hand. The congregation, evidently also inspired, immediately rose up instinctively and followed him to the steps of the sanctuary. By gestures he requested a stone slab to be lifted and the place to be dug up.

The Emperor, who shared in the general excitement, ordered the boy to be obeyed. Accordingly, the stone was removed and digging was begun, and soon the crypt was discovered where lay the relics, and whence bright rays issued.

Through an opening the cypress coffin was seen, and a bright light illumined the place. Then the mute young man suddenly cried out: "it is she...." And Charlemagne also cried out: "It is she." The same words were repeated by the people who fell on their knees and broke into tears. In fact, in the coffer was found a winding sheet, that enclosed the relics, upon which were inscribed words that dispelled all doubt: "Here lies the body of St Anne, Mother of the Glorious Virgin Mary."


On the ceiling of the ancient cave, and in a line with the ceiling over the recess where the body was discovered, are two slabs ornamented with remarkable carvings. These were the two slabs removed by the diggers from the opening into the crypt at the time of the discovery.

The second shows the design of a tree resembling a palm-tree laden with foliage around which is entwined a vine heavy with leaves and grapes. The vine on the palm has become the special emblem of St Anne. Thus, in the Litanies sung for centuries in her honour, the Church of Apt invokes her under these titles:


And the symbol of the vine is found not only in the crypt, but it also ornaments the ancient altar that was dedicated to her. Every year, on her feast-day, the bust of St Anne is decorate with fresh grapes which are distributed among the sick under the name of the grapes of St Anne.

The winding-sheet in which the body of St Anne was wrapped is very ancient and of Oriental texture. Joseph Suarez, Bishop of Vaison, having carefully examined the material and texture of the winding-sheet, is of opinion that it was made in Egypt, and that the body it enclosed came from the Holy Land.

Above: The reliquary of St Anne at Apt.

In 1382 the 26th of July was ordered as the Feast of St Anne for the Universal Church by Pope Urban VI on the occasion of the marriage of Richard II with Anne of Bohemia.

On 21 April, 1392, a solemn translation of the sacred relics was carried out from the crypt, where they had lain for nigh 14 centuries, and had been visited by at least two popes and many saints, kings and queens, to the new chapel built in her honour beside the choir of the church.

In the year 1584 Gregory XIII raised the feast to the rite of a double, and Leo XIII in 1879 raised it further, together with that of St Joachim, to the dignity of a solemnity of the second class. It may be remarked that Pope Leo's baptismal name was Joachim.

Last week's question was: Which saint placed the body of St Anne in the crypt at Apt, France? The answer was: St Auspice

Nadja Van der Stroom was the first name out of the hat with the correct answer ~ congratulations! Email me with your address Nadja, and I'll post the St Anne chaplet you see above to you!

For all those ladies who entered last week's draw, feel free to answer this week's draw, answering the new question below.

Here is an image of this week's St Anne chaplet:

To have a chance to win this week's heirloom quality St Anne chaplet made from gemstones and a solid bronze vintage reproduction St Anne d'Auray medal answer the following question:

Q: Which fruit is dedicated to St Anne and distributed to the sick on her feast day each year in Apt?

Email me the answer with your name and email address written next to the answer. Come back next Tuesday to see if you have won!

1 comment:

Nadja Magdalena said...

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to learn more about St. Anne and to win one of your lovely chaplets!