We have only little information about Saint Anne, the mother of Our Lady. Through the Protogospel of James, Anne’s name was popularised as early as 150 AD.
Anne and her husband Joachim were both from the House of David, to which the Messiah was promised. As they married, they split their property into three parts: one was for the temple, one for the poor people and the rest for their living. But after many years, they were still waiting on the fulfilment of their greatest wish: a child. The couple was very sad about it and Anne preyed to God every day for a child. But her prayers in the temple were not answered. After twenty years of childlessness, the high priest rejected the offering of her husband Joachim who became so sad that he fled into the mountains to his flock.
While both were praying, an angel simultaneously appeared to the crying Anne and Joachim in the desert to tell them that God had answered their prayers: “Anne! You shall conceive, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.” Thus, Mary was born, the Mother of Jesus, magnum opus of God.
The happiness did not last long, as Saint Anne and Saint Joachim kept their vow and sent Mary to serve in the Temple when the girl was three years old. The high priest Zachary, father of John the Baptist, received Mary. Despite of her young age, she joyfully sacrificed herself to the Heavenly Father. This event is still remembered today with the Feast Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. From this moment on, almost no more information is given about Anne who by giving away Mary to God fulfilled the purpose of her life on behalf of God.
Tradition says that Anne’s relics were firstly kept in Jerusalem and then buried in Constantinople in the 8th century. Today, many places claim to be in possession of relics of Saint Anne.
In many places the feast day of Saint Anne is celebrated with customs and festivals.
as matron in headscarf, Anna selbdritt (Virgin and Child together with Saint Anne), holding a book in her hand
Florence, Naples (both Italy), Innsbruck (Austria), Brittany (France), housekeepers, housewives, working women, domestic workers, miners, goldsmiths, farm labourers, weavers, turners, cabinetmakers, millers, mongers, ropemakers, tailors, lacemakers, mothers, widows, poor people, mines, happy marriage, fertility (pregnancy), easy birth, rain, against thunderstorms, finding of lost objects, against fever, headache, chest pain, stomach ache