Saint Anne is the grandmother of Jesus. Her feast day is shared with her husband Joachim on July 26. As grandmother of Christ and mother of Mary, Saint Anne soon became the patron of married women, and for childless couples a special aid in obtaining children. According to legend she was married three times, first to Joachim, after his death to Cleophas, and finally to Salomas. This detail of the ancient story inspired young women to turn to her for help in finding a husband. After all, since she had had three husbands herself, should she not be able and willing to provide at least one bridegroom for those who trustingly appealed to her? In the languages of all European nations young women implored her: I beg you, holy mother Anne, Send me a good and loving man.
Her patronage of fertility was extended also to the soil. Thus she became a patron of rain. It is a popular saying in Italy that “rain is Saint Anne’s gift”; in Germany, July rain was called “Saint Anne’s dowry”.
Finally, the gentle grandmother of the Lord is everywhere invoked as one of the great helpers for various needs of body and soul. Many churches have been erected to her, most of them becoming famous centers of pilgrimages. St. Anne of the Sunset is one such place and every year pilgrims gather to pray, asking her intercession, for their particular intention. A Novena of prayers is made to her beginning on July 18 and concluding on her feast day, July 26.
Prayer to St. Anne
Good St. Anne,
Grandmother of Jesus and Grandmother to us all,
with our hearts bruised by countless sufferings,
we turn to you.
With patience and gentleness, guide us.
May our prayer,
united with yours and that of your Daughter Mary,
lead us to the merciful Heart of Jesus,
where we may find healing, comfort, strength and hope.
Lead us, good St. Anne,
that we may discover the Heart of Jesus
and there obtain the favors we seek.
(Pause and silently make your request.)
And blessed by His infinite Mercy,
help us to live with mercy
towards our brothers and sisters.
Thank you, Grandmother St. Anne,
for your help, intercessions and favors. Amen