Prayer to St. Anne

With my heart full of the most sincere venerations, I prostrate myself before thee, O glorious Saint Anne. Thou art that creature of privilege and predilection, who by thy extraordinary virtues and holiness didst merit from God the high favor of giving life to her who is the Treasury of all graces, blessed among women, the Mother of the Word Incarnate, the most holy Virgin Mary. By virtue of so lofty a privilege, do thou deign, O most compassionate saint, to receive me into the number of thy true clients, for so I profess myself and so I desire to remain throughout my entire life.

Shield me with thine effectual patronage and obtain for me from God the power to imitate those virtues where with thou wast so plentifully adorned. Grant that I may know and weep over my sins in bitterness of heart. Obtain for me the grace of most active love for Jesus and Mary, and resolution to fulfill the duties of my state of life with faithfulness and constancy. Save me from every danger that confronts me in life, and help me at the hour of death, that so I may come in safety to paradise, there to sing with thee, O most happy mother, the praises of the Word of God made Man in the womb of thy most pure daughter, the Virgin Mary. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, (three times).

(Indulgence of 300 days, once a day)


Saint Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
from the Liturgical Year, 1909

Uniting the blood of kings with that of pontiffs, the glory of Anne's illustrious origin is far surpassed by that of her offspring, without compare among the daughters of Eve. The noblest of all, who have ever conceived by virtue of the command to " increase and multiply," beholds the law of human generation pause before her as having arrived at its summit, at the threshold of God; for, from her fruit God himself is to come forth, the fatherless Son of the Blessed Virgin, and the grandson of Anne and Joachim. Before being favoured with the greatest blessing ever bestowed on an earthly union, the two holy grand-parents of the Word made Flesh had to pass through the purification of suffering. Traditions which, though mingled with details of less authenticity, have come down to us from the very beginning of Christianity, tell us of these noble spouses subjected to the trial of prolonged sterility, and on that account despised by their people; of Joachim cast out of the temple and going to hide his sorrow in the desert; of Anne left alone to mourn her widowhood and humiliation. For exquisite sentiment this narrative might be compared with the most beautiful histories in Holy Scripture.

"It was one of the great festival days of the Lord. In spite of extreme sorrow, Anne laid aside her mourning garments, and adorned her head and clothed herself with her nuptial robes. And about the ninth hour she went down to the garden to walk; seeing a laurel she sat down in its shade, and poured forth her prayer to the Lord God, saying: God of my fathers, bless me and hear my supplication, as thou didst bless Sara and didst give her a son!

And raising her eyes to heaven, she saw in the laurel a sparrow's nest, and sighing she said: Alas! of whom was I born to be thus a curse in Israel?

To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me to the birds of the air; for the birds are blessed by thee, O Lord.

To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me to the beasts of the earth: for they, too, are fruitful before thee.

To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me to the waters; for they are not barren in thy sight, and the rivers and the oceans full of fish praise thee in their heavings and in their peaceful flowing.

To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me even to the earth, for the earth, too, bears fruit in season, and praises thee, O Lord.

And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by, and said to her: Anne, God has heard thy prayer; "thou shalt conceive and bear a child, and thy fruit shall be honoured throughout the whole inhabited earth. And in due time Anne brought forth a daughter, and said: My soul is magnified this hour. And she called the child Mary; and giving her the breast, she intoned this canticle to the Lord:

I will sing the praise of the Lord my God: for He has visited me and has taken away my shame, and has given me a fruit of justice. Who shall declare to the sons of Ruben that Anne is become fruitful? Hear, hear, O ye twelve tribes: behold Anne is giving suck (Protevangelium Jacobi)!"

The feast of St. Joachim, which the Church celebrates on the Sunday within the octave of his blessed Daughter's Assumption, will give us an occasion of completing the account of these trials and joys in which he shared. Warned from heaven to leave the desert, he met his spouse at the golden gate which leads to the Temple on the east side.

Not far from here, near the Probatica piscina, where the little white lambs were washed before being offered in sacrifice, now stands the restored basilica of St. Anne, originally called St. Mary of the Nativity. Here, as in a peaceful paradise, the rod of Jesse produced that blessed branch which the Prophet hailed as about to bear the flower that had blossomed from eternity in the bosom of the Father. It is true that Sephoris, Anne's native city, and Nazareth, where Mary lived, dispute with the holy City the honour which ancient and constant tradition assigns to Jerusalem. But our homage will not be misdirected if we offer it today to Blessed Anne, in whom were wrought the prodigies, the very thought of which brings new joy to heaven, rage to Satan, and triumph to the world.

Anne was, as it were, the starting-point of Redemption, the horizon scanned by the prophets, the first span of the heavens to be empurpled with the rising fires of aurora; the blessed soil whose produce was so pure as to make the Angels believe that Eden had been restored to us. But in the midst of the aureola of incomparable peace that surrounds her, let us hail her as the land of victory surpassing the most famous fields of battle; as the sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception, where our humiliated race took up the combat begun before the throne of God by the Angelic hosts; where the serpent's head was crushed, and Michael, now surpassed in glory, gladly handed over to his sweet Queen, at the first moment of her existence, the command of the Lord's armies.

What human lips, unless touched like the prophet's with a burning coal, could tell the admiring wonder of the Angelic Powers, when the Blessed Trinity, passing from the burning Seraphim to the lowest of the nine choirs, bade them turn their fiery glances and contemplate the flower of sanctity blossoming in the bosom of Anne? The Psalmist had said of the glorious City whose foundations were now hidden in her that was once barren: The foundations thereof are in the holy mountains (Ps. lxxxvi. 1); and the heavenly hierarchies crowning the slopes of the eternal hills, beheld in her heights to them unknown and unattainable, summits approaching so near to God, that He was even then preparing His throne in her. Like Moses at the sight of the burning bush on Horeb, they were seized with a holy awe on recognizing the mountain of God in the midst of the desert of this world; and they understood that the affliction of Israel was soon to cease. Although shrouded by the cloud, Mary was already that blessed mountain whose base, i.e., the starting point of her graces, was set far above the summits where the highest created sanctities are perfected in glory and love.

How justly is the mother named Anne, which signifies grace, she in whom for nine months were centered the complacencies of the Most High, the ecstasy of the Angelic Spirits and the hope of all flesh! No doubt it was Mary, the daughter, and not the mother, whose sweetness so powerfully attracted the heavens to our lowly earth. But the perfume first scents the vessel which contains it, and even after it is removed, leaves it impregnated with its fragrance. Moreover, it is customary to prepare the vase itself with the greatest care; it must be all the purer, made of more precious material, and more richly adorned, according as the essence to be placed in it is rarer and more exquisite. Thus Magdalene enclosed her precious spikenard in alabaster. The Holy Spirit, the preparer of heavenly perfumes, would not be less careful than men. Now the task of blessed Anne was not limited, like that of a material vase, to passively containing the treasure of the world. She furnished the body of her who was to give flesh to the Son of God; she nourished her with her milk; she gave to her, who was inundated with floods of divine light, the first practical notions of life. In the education of her illustrious daughter, Anne played the part of a true mother: not only did she guide Mary's first steps, but she co-operated with the Holy Ghost in the education of her soul, and the preparation for her incomparable destiny; until, when the work had reached the highest development to which she could bring it, she, without a moment's hesitation or a thought of self, offered her tenderly loved child to him from whom she had received her.

Sic fingit tabernaculum Deo, thus she frames a tabernacle for God. Such was the inscription around the figure of St. Anne instructing Mary, which formed the device of the ancient guild of joiners and cabinetmakers; for they, looking upon the making of tabernacles wherein God may dwell in our churches as their most choice work, had taken St. Anne for their patroness and model. Happy were those times, when the simplicity of our fathers penetrated so deeply into the practical understanding of mysteries, which their infatuated sons glory in ignoring. The valiant woman is praised in the Book of Proverbs for her spinning, weaving, sewing, embroidering, and household cares: naturally then, those engaged in these occupations placed themselves under the protection of the spouse of Joachim. More than once, those suffering from the same trial which had inspired Anne's touching prayer beneath the sparrow's nest, experienced the power of her intercession in obtaining for others, as well as for herself, the blessing of the Lord God.

The East anticipated the West in the public cultus of the grandmother of the Messias. Towards the middle of the sixth century, a Church was dedicated to her in Constantinople. The Typicon of St. Sabbas makes a liturgical commemoration of her three times in the year: on the 9th September, together with her spouse St. Joachim, the day after the birthday of their glorious daughter; on the 9th December, whereon the Greeks, a day later than the Latins, keep the feast of our Lady's Immaculate Conception, under a title which more directly expresses St. Anne's share in the mystery; and lastly, the 25th July, not being occupied by the feast of St. James, which was kept on the 80th April, is called the Dormitio or precious death of St. Anne, mother of the most holy Mother of God: the very same expression which the Roman Martyrology adopted later.

Although Rome, with her usual reserve, did not until much later authorize the introduction into the Latin Churches of a liturgical feast of St. Anne, she nevertheless encouraged the piety of the faithful in this direction. So early as the time of Leo III. (795 - 816) and by that illustrious Pontiff's express command, the history of Anne and Joachim was represented on the sacred ornaments of the noblest basilicas in the Eternal City (Lib. pontif. in Leon. III). The Order of Carmel, so devout to St. Anne, powerfully contributed, by its fortunate migration into our countries, to the growing increase of her cultus. Moreover, this development was the natural outcome of the progress of devotion among the people to the Mother of God. The close relation between the two worships is noticed in a concession, whereby in 1381 Urban VI. satisfied the desires of the faithful in England by authorizing for that kingdom a feast of the blessed Anne. The Church of Apt in Provence had been already a century in possession of the feast; a fact due to the honour bestowed on that Church of having received almost together with the faith, the Saint's holy body, in the first age of Christianity.

Since our Lord, reigning in heaven, has willed that his blessed Mother should also be crowned there in her virginal body, the relics of Mary's mother have become doubly dear to the world, first, as in the case of others, on account of the holiness of her whose precious remains they are, and then above all others, on account of their close connection with the mystery of the Incarnation. The Church of Apt was so generous out of its abundance, that it would now be impossible to enumerate the sanctuaries which have obtained, either from this principal source or from elsewhere, more or less notable portions of these precious relics. We cannot omit to mention as one of these privileged places, the great Basilica of St. Paul outside the walls; St. Anne herself, in an apparition to St. Bridget of Sweden (Revelationes S. Birgittae. liv. VI., cap. 104), confirmed the authenticity of the arm which forms one of the most precious jewels in the rich treasury of that Church.

It was not until 1584 that Gregory XIII. ordered the celebration of this feast of 26th July throughout the whole Church, with the rite of a double. Leo XIII. in our own times (1879) raised it, together with that of St. Joachim, to the dignity of a solemnity of second class. But before that, Gregory XV., after having been cured of a serious illness by St. Anne, had ranked her feast among those of precept, with obligation of resting from servile work.

Now that St. Anne was receiving the homage due to her exalted dignity, she made haste to show her recognition of this more solemn tribute of praise. In the years 1623, 1624 and 1625, in the village of Keranna, near Auray, in Brittany, she appeared to Yves Nicolazic, and discovered to him an ancient statue buried in the field of Bocenno, which he tenanted. This discovery brought the people once more to the place, where, a thousand years before, the inhabitants of ancient Armorica had honoured that statue. Innumerable graces obtained on the spot spread its fame far beyond the limits of the province, whose faith, worthy of past ages, had merited the favour of the grandmother of the Messias; and St. Anne d'Auray was soon reckoned among the chief pilgrimages of the Christian world.

More fortunate than the wife of Elcana, who prefigured thee both in her trial and by her name, thou, O Anne, now singest the magnificent gifts of the Lord. Where is now the proud synagogue that despised thee? The descendants of the barren one are now without number; and all we, the brethren of Jesus, children, like Him, of thy daughter Mary, come joyfully, led by our Mother, to offer thee our praises. In the family circle the grandmother's feastday is the most, touching of all, when her grandchildren surround her with reverential love, as we gather around thee today.

St. Anne Grandmother of the baby Jesus

Many, alas! know not these beautiful feasts, where the blessing of the earthly paradise seems to revive in all its freshness; but the mercy of our God has provided a sweet compensation. He, the Most High God, willed to come so nigh to us, as to be one of us in the flesh; to know the relations and mutual dependences which are the law of our nature; the bonds of Adam, with which He had determined to draw us and in which He first bound Himself. For, in raising nature above itself, He did not eliminate it; He made grace take hold of it and lead it to heaven; so that, joined together on earth by their Divine Author, nature and grace were to be united for all eternity. We, then, being brethren by grace of Him Who is ever thy Grandson by nature, are, by this loving disposition of Divine Wisdom, quite at home under thy roof; and today's feast, so dear to the hearts of Jesus and Mary, is our own family feast.

Smile then, dear mother, upon our chants and bless our prayers. Today and always be propitious to the supplications which our land of sorrows sends up to thee. Be gracious to wives and mothers who confide to thee their holy desires and the secret of their sorrows. Keep up, where they still exist, the traditions of the Christian home. Over how many families has the baneful breath of this age passed, blighting all that is serious in life, weakening faith, leaving nothing but languor, weariness, frivolity, if not even worse, in the place of the true and solid joys of our fathers. How truly might the Wise Man say at the present day: "Who shall find a valiant woman?" She alone by her influence could counteract all these evils; but on condition of recognizing wherein her true strength lies: in humble household works done with her own hands; in hidden, self-sacrificing devotedness; in watchings by night; in hourly foresight; working in wool and flax, and with the spindle; all those strong things which win for her the confidence and praise of her husband; authority over all, abundance in the house, blessings from the poor whom she has helped, honour from strangers, reverence from her children; and for herself, in the fear of the Lord, nobility and dignity, beauty and strength, wisdom, sweetness and content, and calm assurance at the latter day (Cf. Prov. xxxi. 10-31).


O blessed Anne, rescue society, which is perishing for want of virtues like thine. The motherly kindnesses thou art ever more frequently bestowing upon us have increased the Church's confidence; deign to respond to the hopes she places in thee. Bless especially thy faithful Brittany; have pity on unhappy France, for which thou hast shown thy predilection, first, by so early confiding to it thy sacred body; later on, by choosing in it the spot whence thou wouldst manifest thyself to the world; and, again, quite recently entrusting to its sons the Church and seminary dedicated to thy honour in Jerusalem. O thou who lovest the Franks, who deignest still to look on fallen Gaul as the kingdom of Mary, continue to show it that love which is its most cherished tradition. Mayest thou become known throughout the whole world. As for us, who have long known thy power and experienced thy goodness, let us ever seek in thee, O mother, our rest, security, strength in every trial; for he who leans on thee has nothing to fear on earth, and he who rests in thy arms is safely carried.


Novena to Saint Anne

Tuesday is the day dedicated to Saint Anne. A novena of nine Tuesdays can be made by those who wish to honor her by special devotions or a novena of nine consecutive days at one's own choice.

In making a novena, recite the novena prayers as found below. If possible, hear Mass every day and receive Holy Communion at least once during the novena.


The faithful who devoutly say some prayers in honor of Saint Anne on nine successive Tuesdays are granted:

The faithful who offer their devout supplications in honor of Saint Anne, with the intention of so continuing for nine successive days, are granted: An indulgence of seven years, once on any day of the novena.


Glorious St. Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present affair which I recommend to you under your special protection. (Here ask tor favor you wish to obtain.) Vouchsafe to recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face, and with You and Mary and all the saints, praising and blessing Him through all eternity. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father

First Day:

Great Saint Anne engrave indelibly in my heart and in my mind the words which have reclaimed and sanctified so many sinners: "What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world if he lose his own soul?" May this be the principal fruit of these pious exercises by which I will strive to honor thee during this Novena. At thy feet I renew my resolution to invoke thee daily not only for the success of my temporal affairs and to be preserved from sickness and suffering, but above all, that I may be preserved from all sin, that I may gain the victory over my depraved inclination and that I may succeed in working out my eternal salvation. O my powerful Protectress, do not let me lose my soul, but obtain for me the grace of winning my way to heaven, there with thee, thy blessed spouse and thy glorious daughter, to sing the praise of the most holy and adorable Trinity forever and ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father

Practice: Honor Good Saint Anne all the days of your life, by some prayer or short ejaculation.

A Prayer in honor of the Blessed Virgin and St. Anne:

Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; thy grace be with me. Blessed art thou amoung women, and blessed be St. Anne, thy Mother, from whom thou didst proceed without stain of sin, O Virgin Mary; but of thee was born Christ Jesus, Son of the living God. Who liveth and reigneth, God, etc.

(Indulgence: 100 days Indulgence--Pius VII.)


Second Day:

Glorious Saint Anne how canst thou be otherwise than overflowing with tenderness toward poor sinners like myself, since thou art the grandmother of Him Who shed Blood for them, and the mother of her whom the saints call the advocate of sinners? To thee, therefore, I address my prayers with confidence. Vouchsafe to commend me to Jesus and Mary so that, at thy request, they may grant me remission of my sins, perseverance, the love of God, charity for all mankind, and the special grace [here mention your intentions] of which I stand in need at this present time. O my powerful Protectress, let me not lose my soul, but obtain for me that, through the merits of Jesus Christ and the intercession of Mary, I may have the happiness of seeing them, of loving and praising them with thee for all eternity. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father

Practice: When you pray to Saint Anne do not fail to ask of her the love of Jesus and Mary. It is the most beneficial prayer you can offer and it will always be granted.


Third Day:

Beloved of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Mother of the Queen of Heaven, take us, and all who are dear to us, under thy special care. Obtain for us the virtues thou didst instill into the heart of her who was destined to become the Mother of God, and the graces with which thou wast endowed. Sublime model of Christian womanhood! Pray that we may imitate thy example in our homes and families, listen to our petitions, and obtain our requests, Guardian of the infancy and childhood of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, obtain the graces necessary for all who enter the marriage state, that imitating thy virtues they may sanctify their homes, and lead the souls entrusted to their care to eternal glory. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father

Practice: Ask of God, through the intercession of Saint Anne and of Saint Joachim, the virtues proper to your state of life and the grace to worthily fulfill all its obligations.


Fourth Day:

Glorious Saint, I kneel in confidence at thy feet for thou also hast tasted the bitterness and sorrow of life. My necessities, the cause of my tears, are as follows: [Here mention your intention]. Good Saint Anne, thou, who didst suffer much during the twenty years that preceded thy glorious maternity, I beseech thee, by all thy sufferings and humiliations, to grant my prayer. I pray thee, through thy love for thy glorious spouse, through thy love for thy immaculate child, through the joy thou didst feel at the moment of her happy birth, not to refuse me. Bless me, bless my family and all who are dear to me, so that some day we may all be with thee in the glory of heaven for all eternity. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father

Practice: Patience under suffering is the shortest road to heaven, and a great sign of predestination. When crosses overtake you, ask Saint Anne to give you patience and resignation to bear them.


Fifth Day:

Great Saint, how far I am from resembling thee, I so easily give way to impatience and discouragement; and so easily give up praying when God does not at once grant my request. That is why I am so wretched and so poor in virtue. Prayer is the key to all heavenly treasures and I cannot pray, because my weak faith and languid confidence fail me at the slightest delay of divine mercy. O my powerful Protectress, come to my aid, cause my confidence and fervor, supported by the promises of Jesus Christ, to redouble in proportion as the trial to which God in His goodness subjects me is prolonged, that I may thus obtain, like thee, more than I can venture to ask. In the future, I will remember that I am made for heaven and not for earth, for eternity and not for time; that consequently I must ask, above all, the salvation of my soul which is assured to all who pray properly and who persevere in prayer. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father

Practice: One of the greatest graces you can ask of God through Saint Anne's intercession, is unshaken confidence in the promise made by Jesus to those who pray.


Sixth Day:

Glorious Saint Anne, mother of the august Mother of God, I beg thee to obtain, through thy intercession, the pardon of my sins and the assistance I need in my troubles. What can I not hope for if thou deignest to take me under thy protection? The Most High has been pleased to grant the prayers of sinners whenever thou has been charitable enough to be their advocate. Humbly prostrate at thy feet, I beg thee to help me in all spiritual and temporal dangers; to guide me in the true path of Christian perfection, and finally, to obtain for me the grace of ending my life with the death of the just, so that I may contemplate face to face thy beloved Jesus and thy daughter Mary in thy loving companionship throughout eternity. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father

Practice: Invoke Saint Anne's aid whenever God requires you to make a painful and difficult sacrifice; she will make it easier for you.


Seventh Day:

Good Saint Anne, so justly called the mother of the infirm, the cure of those who suffer from disease, look kindly upon the sick for whom I pray; alleviate their sufferings; cause them to sanctify their sufferings by patience and complete submission to the divine will; finally deign to obtain health for them and with it the firm resolution to honor Jesus, Mary and thyself by the faithful performance of duties. But, merciful Saint Anne, I ask thee above all, salvation of the soul, rather than bodily health, for I am convinced that this fleeting life is given us solely to assure us a better one. Now, we cannot obtain that better life without the help of God's graces, I earnestly beg them of thee for the sick and for myself, the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of His Immaculate Mother and through thy efficacious and powerful mediation, O glorious Saint Anne. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father

Practice: A sure way of making yourselves dear to Saint Anne is to be charitable to your brethren, all of whom are her children. Apply yourselves to relieving their corporal necessities; be zealous for their salvation; never let a day pass without praying for the conversion of sinners and the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory.


Eighth Day:

Remember, O Saint Anne, thou whose name signifieth grace and mercy that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help and sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, good and kind mother; I take refuge at thy feet and sinful as I am, I venture to appear before thee, groaning under the weight of my sins. O holy Mother of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, despise not my petitions but hear me and grant my prayer. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father

Practice: Holiness is the highest gift to which a creature can aspire. With the aid of divine grace you can obtain it. God even commands you to strive for it with all your might: for that reason are you a Christian. Make the resolution to do everything in your power to win that treasure. There have been Saints in all conditions of life; why cannot you, with the help of God, do what they have done?


Ninth Day:

Most Holy Mother of the Virgin Mary, glorious Saint Anne, I, a miserable sinner, confiding in thy kindness, choose thee today as my special advocate. I offer and consecrate my person and all my interests to thy care and maternal solicitude. I purpose to serve and honor thee all my life for the love of thy most holy daughter and to do all in my power to spread devotion to thee.

O my very good Mother and advocate, deign to accept me as thy servant and to adopt me as thy child. O glorious Queen, I beg thee, by the Passion of my most loving Jesus, the Son of Mary, thy most holy daughter, to assist me in all the necessities both of my body and my soul. Venerable Mother, I beg thee to obtain for me the grace of leading a life perfectly conformable in all things to the divine will. I place my soul in thy hands and in those of thy kind daughter; I confide it to thee, above all at the moment, when it will be about to separate itself from my body in order that appearing under thy patronage before the Supreme Judge, He may find it worthy of enjoying His divine presence in thy holy companionship in heaven. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father

Practice: Pray daily to Saint Anne for the love of Jesus and Mary and for victory over that evil inclination which is most hurtful to your soul.


Litany of St. Anne

(For private recitation only)

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, spotless child of St. Joachim and St. Anne,
Pray for us*

St. Joachim, father of the Blessed Virgin Mary,*
St. Joachim, promised descendant of Abraham and David,*
St. Joachim, venerable patriarch,*
St. Joachim, holy spouse of St. Anne,*
St. Joachim, and St. Anne, shining models of Christian spouses,*
St. Anne, royal lady,*
St. Anne, glory of the House of David,*
St. Anne, faithful and loving wife,*
St. Anne, venerable model of meekness and humility,*
St. Anne, brilliant example of holy obedience,*
St. Anne, sparkling mirror of patience and resignation,*
St. Anne, perfect type of devotion and piety,*
St. Anne, fruitful vine,*
St. Anne, giving wise instruction and careful training to your child,*
St. Anne, worthy mother of the Mother of God,*
St. Anne, tender mother of all virgins,*
St. Anne, mother lending aid to all Christian mothers,*
St. Anne, consoling mother of all widows,*
St. Anne, kind mother of us all,*
St. Anne, refuge of the suffering,*
St. Anne, guiding star of widows,*
St. Anne, harbor of safety in the storms of this life,*
St. Anne, bulwark of the Church,*

Through your virtues and merits,
Pray for us and for our children.**

Through your goodness and compassion,**
Through all your gifts and prerogatives,**
Through your high vocation,**
Through your miraculous maternity,**
Through Mary, your child full of grace,**
Through the joys prepared for you on earth by Jesus and Mary,**
Through the honor they now render you in heaven,**
Through your exceedingly great rapture and bliss,**

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us

Christ hear us!
Christ graciously hear us!

Let us pray:

St. Anne, my dear mother and most compassionate protectress, deign to receive graciously my poor efforts to do you honor. May I ever be devoted to you with a heart full of childlike humility and submission! May your example encourage me, your intercession strengthen me, your goodness console me! Permit me with all my heart to commend to you my children. As you consecrated Mary, your child of grace, entirely to God, I beg you to obtain for me the grace to train my children for Him, and with them to labor perseveringly for heaven. As you lived in holy harmony and peace with St. Joachim, so may love, union, devotion, and zeal for virtue reign in my household, that we may belong to that host of blessed spouses who with you will love, praise, and glorify the Most High forever and ever. Amen


Prayer to St. Anne as your Patron Saint

Saint Anne, whom I have chosen as my special patron, pray for me that I, too, may one day glorify the Blessed Trinity in heaven. Obtain for me your lively faith, that I may consider all persons, things, and events in the light of almighty God. Pray, that I may be generous in making sacrifices of temporal things to promote my eternal interests, as you so wisely did.

Set me on fire with a love for Jesus, that I may thirst for His sacraments and burn with zeal for the spread of His kingdom. By your powerful intercession, help me in the performance of my duties to God, myself and all the world.

Win for me the virtue of purity and a great confidence in the Blessed Virgin. Protect me this day, and every day of my life. Keep me from mortal sin. Obtain for me the grace of a happy death. Amen

St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1877

St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Bethlehem, a city two miles distant from Jerusalem, frequently mentioned in Holy Writ. Having passed her youth in unstained purity, she was married to a man named Joachim, who was born at Nazareth in Galilee, with whom she lived in such love and harmony, and at the same time so piously, that one could justly say of them what St. Luke writes of Zachary and Elizabeth: "They were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame." They divided their income into three parts, the first of which was used for the honor of God and to adorn the Temple, the second to assist the poor, and the third for their own subsistence. They employed the day in prayer, work suitable to their station in life, and charitable deeds.

Their only grief was, that, although so long married, they had no issue; and a barren marriage was at that time considered a disgrace, nay almost a sign of a divine curse. Saddened by this sorrow, St. Anne, as well as her spouse, prayed with many sighs and tears, that God would take pity on them and remove the disgrace that was weighing them down. But when, after having prayed long and earnestly, they were not heard, they determined to bear patiently the will of the Almighty. As, however, St. Anne knew that God required continual prayer, and that He had not given to men a certain time to ask for grace, she ceased not to implore heaven with great confidence, for all that she believed was for His honor and her own salvation. Being one day in the Temple, she felt her distress so deeply, that she wept bitterly, but she remembered, at the same time, that there had been another Anne, spouse of Elcana, who had been afflicted as she was, but whose prayers God at last had answered, making her the mother of the great prophet Samuel. While thinking of this, she perceived in herself an invincible desire to beg the Lord for a like grace. Hence she repeated her prayer with earnest fervor, promising at the same time, that if God would grant her a child, she would consecrate it in the Temple to His divine service, as the above-mentioned Anne had done.

God answered the trusting, tearful prayer of His servant, and sent her, according to the opinion of the Holy Fathers, an angel, who announced to her that she would give birth to a child which, blessed among women, would become the mother of the long expected Saviour of the world. It is also believed that the angel told St. Anne the name which she should give to the blessed fruit of her womb. The same revelation was made to St. Joachim, and the happiness of both and their gratitude to the Almighty can be easily imagined. Their happiness was crowned when St. Anne gave birth to her who was elected by God from all eternity to become the mother of His only Son. Who can describe the joy with which Anne pressed her newborn child to her heart, or the solicitude and love with which she brought it up? The knowledge that her blessed daughter was chosen by God to so great a dignity was incentive enough to have nothing undone for her welfare. The mind of the blessed child was so far beyond her years, and her whole being so angelically innocent, that her education was an easy task, and St. Anne deemed herself the happiest mother in the world, because God had entrusted to her so priceless a child. The graces which, through the presence of the Blessed Virgin, she received from Heaven, cannot but have been innumerable. For if, in after times, the house of Elizabeth and Zachary was, by a visit from Mary, filled with heavenly blessings, who can doubt that St. Anne, who was the mother of the Blessed Virgin, was gifted with extraordinary graces?

Knowing, however, that Mary was not only a precious treasure lent her by heaven, but also had consecrated herself to the service of the Almighty, St. Anne did not fail to return to God what she had received from Him and to offer willingly what she had so willingly promised. Hardly had Mary reached the age of three years, when Anne and Joachim went with her to the temple at Jerusalem, and presenting her to the Priest, consecrated her through him to the Almighty. Nothing could have been more painful to the pious parents than to separate from so perfect a child; but as they were more zealous for the glory of God than for their own joy, even though it was so pious, they made this sacrifice without complaining. Thus Mary was received among the number of those who, under the direction of the priests, served God in the Temple, and were led in the path of virtue. After they had piously offered this agreeable sacrifice, the parents of the Blessed Virgin returned home, and spent the remainder of their days in good works, which were continued by St. Anne, when she became a widow by the death of her holy spouse. As she had been an example to the virgins before her marriage, as well as a perfect model of a wife, so also was she in her widowhood, a shining light, for all those qualities which St. Paul afterwards required of a Christian widow, in his first Epistle to Timothy. She went frequently to Jerusalem to see her holy daughter, and died, according to several authors, in the 79th year of her age. Mary, who at that time still lived in the temple, closed her eyes.

As one cannot give to the Blessed Virgin a higher title than to call her Mother of God, thus St. Anne cannot be more exalted than when she is called the mother of her who bore the Son of God. And for the very reason that she was chosen to be her mother, we must believe that the Almighty favored her here upon earth, with grace above all the Saints, and raised her to high glory in heaven. Hence we may rightly suppose, that her intercession with God is most powerful; and this is also testified by many examples.

Practical Considerations

When St. Anne perceived that, notwithstanding her many prayers, the Almighty gave her no issue, she submitted to His divine will, and bore her trial with patience. Thus also should Christian people act, when God proves them in a similar manner, for all He does is the best for them. He has His reasons for acting thus, and these reasons are just. Perhaps they would go to perdition if they had children, as many a parent sins greatly in regard to his children, and is condemned on their account. When St. Anne at length received from God what she had so constantly prayed for during many years, she gave due thanks to Him, educated her daughter piously, and early consecrated her to the service of Heaven. Thus should all Christian parents act. Their greatest care should be to teach their children early to serve God and bring them up for heaven. If one of their children has a calling for a religious life, they must not oppose it, nor, by any unrighteous means, keep the child from it. St. Anne deprived herself of the great comfort which her daughter's presence gave her, when for the love of God, she consecrated her, by the hands of the priest, to the service of the Most High. Why shall not Christian parents do the same and willingly consecrate their child to God, to whom it belongs much more than to themselves? They may commit great sin, and may even draw upon themselves eternal condemnation, and may be the cause of their child's destruction, if they oppose the divine call.

St. Anne prayed long, yet was not heard. She, however, complained not against God, but continued in her prayers with undiminished confidence until she at last received what she had asked. God has many reasons for not always hearing our prayers immediately. We sometimes pray when we are not in a state of grace; or we live in sin without repenting, or without the intention of bettering our life. In such cases, our prayers cannot be acceptable to God. We also sometimes pray without devotion and reverence. And can such a prayer have power? At another time, we pray only for things which God knows to be hurtful to us, although we may imagine that they are for our good. In such cases, God bestows a grace upon us by not hearing us. Often also the Almighty does not hear us, in punishment of our iniquities. We have so often offended Him, and have forfeited His grace, that we cannot reasonably expect that He should grant our request immediately. We have so frequently been deaf when God called to us; how can we ask that He should directly hear us? "What right have we," asks St. Salvianus, "to complain, when God does not hear us, or, so to speak, despises our prayers when we have so often not listened to Him, and so frequently despised His laws? What is more just than that He should not listen to us, because we heard not Him, and that He should despise our prayers, as we did His laws?"

Further, God does not always hear us immediately, in order that we may pray more fervently and esteem so much more highly the favors He bestows. He does it also to try our patience and our trust in His mercy, or that we may be more deserving of His grace by continual prayers. Finally, besides other reasons, He may do it also to give us something better than we asked for. When all this is rightly considered, tell me, can you justly complain when the Almighty hears not your prayers immediately? Continue in them. Perform them in the right spirit, and you will experience the truth of the words of St. Bernard: "God either gives us what we ask, or something else, which is more useful to us."

Chaplet of St. Anne

This little chaplet dates back to 1875 and
consists of the recitation of the following prayers:

1. In honor of Jesus, one Our Father and five Hail Marys.

After each Hail Mary say:

Jesus, Mary and St. Ann, grant the favor I ask.

2. In honor of Mary, one Our Father and five Hail Mary.

After each Hail Mary say:

Jesus, Mary and St. Anne, grant the favor I ask.

3. In honor of St. Anne, one Our Father and five Hail Marys.

After each Hail Mary say:

Jesus, Mary and St. Anne, grant the favor I ask.


Blessed was the womb that bore thee, O Mary! Blessed was she who had the happiness of carrying thee in her arms and of watching over thy slumbers! Blessed was she who had the happiness of hearing thee call her "Mother"! Blessed was she whose glory it was to teach thee how to speak, to pray, to walk!

Glorious St. Anne, I rejoice with thee because thou wert chosen by God to fulfill so great a destiny; I take part in the joy which thrilled through thee, when, beholding Mary seated on the right hand of Jesus, higher than the elect, than the Angels, Archangels, Cherubim and Seraphim, thou didst say to thyself: " She is my daughter!" Great Saint! be thou for ever filled with joy at thy great happiness, but vouchsafe to not forget a poor sinner who cries to thee.

I ask but one grace: ask thy most admirable daughter to take me under her special protection; obtain this favor for me and I will ask no more; for if she deigns to protect me, I am sure of salvation.

Ejaculation.--St. Anne, mother of she who is our Life, our Sweetness and our Hope, pray to her for us!

Practice: When you pray to St. Anne, do not fail to ask of her the love of Jesus and Mary. It is the most beneficial prayer you can offer, and will always be granted.