So I will be doing nine postings giving away a St Anne gift for each posting (either a St Anne chaplet, rosary or necklace) Since today is the first posting, I will be giving away a St Anne chaplet (you will see the image below.)
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 will be sharing with you over these nine weeks a BEAUTIFUL long article written about St Anne from a Catholic newspaper called, Catholic ~ The Voice of Catholic Orthodoxy. My sister-in-law receives this paper and rung me about it, she promised to post it to me and of course it arrived today...on a Tuesday!
The article is an exerpt from a book by Rev Fr Myles V Ronan CC, MRIA 1927 ~ I know, no more than that.
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.
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.
At the Court of the King of heaven, St Anne is the most powerful after the Queen. In all your tribulations, have recourse to her. St Anne can obtain for you all that you will ask with confidence. She cures the sick, sanctifies the guilty, fills afflicted hearts with holy joy, drives away sadness, smooths difficulties, and destroys the power of demons. St Anne obtains pardon for sinners, uproots vice, makes virtues flourish. St Anne cures maladies, heals wounds, drives away plagues. St Anne is a powerful intercessor with God.
Son, honour your mother.
~ Trithemius, A holy monk of Keranna (St Anne D'Auray)
Among all God's gifts a Christian mother is the greatest. It is mothers who implant the germs of future saints. Is it not a perpetual stimulus to mothers to look upon St Anne as their protectress so that she may obtain for them the grace from God to bring up their children, especially their daughters, in His Holy Love? She is a model to be imitated, and a powerful advocate to obtain the grace to preserve for Jesus Christ these tender souls as living temples of sanctity, as she prepares Our Blessed Lady to receive the Son of God into her womb.
Our most important source of knowledge about St Anne is the Protoevangelium (Apocryphal Gospel) of St James which goes back to the year AD 150. In the East this ancient book had great authority, and portions of it were read on the feasts of Our Lady by the Greeks, Syrians, Copts, and Arabians.
From this Protoevangelium, this ancient book so universally revered in the East, we take the following account of the parents of Mary: In Nazareth there lived a rich and pious couple, Joachim and Hannah (Anne). They were childless. When on a feast-day Joachim presented himself to offer sacrifice in the temple, he was repulsed by a certain Ruben, under the pretext that men without offspring were unworthy to be admitted. Whereupon Joachim, bowed down with grief, did not return home, but went into the mountains to make his pleading to God in solitude.
Also Hannah, having learned the reason for the prolonged absence of her husband, cried to the Lord to take away from her the curse of sterility, promising to dedicate her child to the service of God.
Their prayers were heard; an angel came to Hannah and said: "Hannah, the Lord has looked upon thy tears; thou shalt conceive and give birth, and the fruit of thy womb shall be blessed by all the world."
The angel made the same promise to Joachim, who returned to his wife. Hannah gave birth to a fair and beautiful daughter whom she called Miriam (Mary) which means in Syriac "Lady", "Sovereign Mistress", and in Hebrew "Star of the Sea". Anne's own name signifies "Grace", "Precious"; she was indeed a precious vessel for the working out of the design of the great work of the Incarnation and Redemption.
According to the apocryphal writings, the parents of Holy Mary lived only a few years after she had been consecrated to the service of the temple. According to tradition they changed their abode from Nazareth to Jerusalem in order to be near their beloved child. There they died and were buried.
The East anticipated the West in public devotion to the grandmother of the Messiah. Towards the middle of the sixth century a church was dedicated to her in Constantinople. The apocryphal gospels and local tradition gave to her at least three festivals in the Eastern Church; the first on September 9th (together with her spouse St Joachim), on the day after the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin; the second on December 9th, whereupon the Greeks a day later than the Latins, keep the feast of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception; the third on July 25th, which was called the Dormitio or Precious Death of St Anne, Mother of the Most Holy Mother of God, which is the very expression the Roman Martyrology adopted later.
Many shrines too in her honour were raised in Jerusalem and Syria. A basilica over her tomb seems to have been built before the year 636 in Jerusalem. In that year began the Muslim occupation of Jerusalem, but a building known under the name of Hanna Oumm Meryem (Anne, Mother of Mary) was then in existence and was afterwards unfortunately transformed into a Koranic school.
In the West, with local exceptions such as Rome, Spain, Provence, Brittany, England, and Dublin, St Anne was seemingly neglected until the second half of the 14th century. Although Rome, with her usual reserve, did not, until the year 1382, introduce her feast into the general calendar of the Church, she nevertheless encouraged the piety of the faithful in this direction.
Recent researches have brought to light the remarkable fact that as early as the beginning of the eighth century Rome had begun to promote the devotion of St Anne. To be continued next Tuesday....
To have a chance to win this heirloom quality St Anne chaplet made from gemstones and a solid bronze vintage reproduction St Anne medal answer the following question:
Q: What were the two places mentioned where St Anne and St Joachim had lived?
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!