Not much is known about the holy St. Anne, except that she was the wife of St. Joachim and the mother of Our Lady. St. Anne gave birth to the Blessed Mother, who had been conceived without original sin in her womb–to Mary, our “life, our sweetness, and our hope” (cf. Hail Holy Queen), who brings us closer to Jesus. Think what a privilege was given to Saints Joachim and Anne, to be Mary’s parents and the grandparents of Jesus!
Devotion to “Good St. Ann” goes back all the way to the fourth or fifth century. She is the patron saint of mothers, grandmothers, pregnant women, and housewives.
The memorial of St. Anne and her holy husband St. Joachim is July 26. St. Anne’s feast day has been universally celebrated since 1584.
Being a wife and mother is a beautiful vocation. Donna Marie Cooper-O’Boyle writes, “A mother’s vocation is to love her family and through that dedicated love, to work out her own salvation [cf. Philippians 2:12] while she is guiding her family to work out theirs as well.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was herself a wife and mother, said, “We know certainly that our God calls us to a holy life. We know that He gives us every grace, every abundant grace; and though we are so weak of ourselves, this grace is able to carry us through every obstacle and difficulty.” This is so true for the vocation of wife and mother!
St. Gianna Molla, a wife and mother, gave us several gems of wisdom very relevant for other wives and mothers:
“Love and sacrifice are closely linked, like the sun and the light. We cannot love without suffering and we cannot suffer without love.”
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.”
“The stillness of prayer is the most essential condition for fruitful action. Before all else, the disciple kneels down.”
“Love the Virgin Mary. She is our tender confidant in difficulty. Mary is the mother who cannot ignore our requests.”
“Love your children. In them you can see Baby Jesus. Pray for them a lot and every day put them under Holy Mary’s protection.”
Novena to St. Anne (Patroness of Mothers)
Glorious St. Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke you, with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you to take my present need under your special protection (here mention your request). Recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, for her intercession, and lay it before the throne of Jesus. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace to one day meet God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the angels and saints, to praise Him through all eternity. Amen.
Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…
Prayer to St. Anne
Dear St. Anne, you gave us the Mother of God who called herself the handmaid of the Lord. In your home, you raised the Queen of Heaven and you are rightly the model of homemakers. In your womb came to dwell the new Eve, uniquely conceived without sin. Intercede for us that we may remain free from sin. Amen.
Memorare to St. Anne
Remember, good Saint Anne, whose name means grace and mercy, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I, sinful and sorrowful, come before you. Holy mother of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and loving grandmother of the Savior, do not reject my appeal, but hear and answer me. Amen.