Anne (Hebrew, Hannah, grace; also spelled Ann, Anne, Anna) is the traditional name of the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Anne. All our information concerning the names and lives of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is derived from apocryphal literature, Though the earliest form of the latter, on which directly or indirectly the other two seem to be based, goes back to about A.D. 150, we can hardly accept as beyond doubt its various statements on its sole authority.
In the Orient the Protoevangelium had great authority and portions of it were read on the feasts of Mary by the Greeks, Syrians, Copts, and Arabians. In the Occident, however, it was rejected by the Fathers of the Church until its contents were incorporated by Jacobus de Voragine in his “Golden Legend” in the thirteenth century. From that time on the story of St. Anne spread over the West and was amply developed, until St. Anne became one of the most popular saints also of the Latin Church.
The Protoevangelium gives the following account: In Nazareth there lived a rich and pious couple, Joachim and Hannah. 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 plaint to God in solitude. Also Hannah, having learned the reason of 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 daughter whom she called Miriam (Mary). Since this story is apparently a reproduction of the biblical account of the conception of Samuel, whose mother was also called Hannah, even the name of the mother of Mary seems to be doubtful to some.
During the Protestant Revolution, strange legends that made Anne several times a remarried widow, hardly edifying for the one who God graced to carry the Immaculate Conceived daughter in her womb. Yet, Father John of Eck of Ingolstadt, in a sermon on St. Anne (published at Paris in 1579), pretends to know even the names of the parents St. Anne. He calls them Stollanus and Emerentia. He says that St. Anne was born after Stollanus and Emerentia had been childless for twenty years; that St. Joachim died soon after the presentation of Mary in the temple; that St. Anne then married Cleophas, by whom she became the mother of Mary Cleophae (the wife of Alphaeus and mother of the Apostles James the Lesser, Simon and Judas, and of Joseph the Just). After the death of Cleophas, Anne is said to have married Salomas, to whom she bore Maria Salomae (the wife of Zebedaeus and mother of the Apostles Sts. John and James the Greater). Pretty active for one well-passed childbirth and getting up in age, but then those rebelling against Catholicism liberally targeted the Blessed Mother so why not her mother as well?!
The same spurious legend is found in the writings of Gerson (Opp. III, 59) and of many others. This grew so bizarre that there arose in the sixteenth century an animated controversy over the marriages of St. Anne, in which Baronius and the holy Doctor of the Church and Cardinal St. Robert Bellarmine defended her monogamy. The Greek Menaea (25 July) call the parents of St. Anne Mathan and Maria, and relate that Salome and Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Baptist, were daughters of two sisters of St. Anne. According to Ephiphanius it was maintained even in the fourth century by some enthusiasts that St. Anne conceived without the action of man. This error was revived in the West in the fifteenth century. (Anna concepit per osculum Joachimi.) In 1677 the Holy See condemned the error of Imperiali who taught that St. Anne in the conception and birth of Mary remained virgin (Pope Benedict XIV, De Festis, II, 9).
In the Orient the cult of St. Anne can be traced to the fourth century. Justinian I (d. 565) had a church dedicated to her. The canon of the Greek Office of St. Anne was composed by St. Theophanes (d. 817), but older parts of the Office are ascribed to Anatolius of Byzantium (d. 458). Her feast is celebrated in the East on the 25th day of July, which may be the day of the dedication of her first church at Constantinople or the anniversary of the arrival of her supposed relics in Constantinople (710). It is found in the oldest liturgical document of the Greek Church, the Calendar of Constantinople (first half of the eighth century). The Greeks keep a collective feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne on the 9th of September. In the Latin Church St. Anne was not venerated, except, perhaps, in the south of France, before the thirteenth century. Her picture, painted in the eighth century, which was found lately in the church of Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome, owes its origin to Byzantine influence. Her feast, under the influence of the “Golden Legend”, is first found (26 July) in the thirteenth century, e.g. at Douai (in 1291), where a foot of St. Anne was venerated (feast of translation, 16 September). It was introduced in England by Pope Urban VI, 21 November, 1378, from which time it spread all over the Western Church. It was extended to the universal Latin Church in 1584.
The supposed relics of St. Anne were brought from the Holy Land to Constantinople in 710 and were still kept there in the church of St. Sophia in 1333. The tradition of the church of Apt in southern France pretends that the body of St. Anne was brought to Apt by St. Lazarus, the friend of Christ, was hidden by St. Auspicius (d. 398), and found again during the reign of Charlemagne (feast, Monday after the octave of Easter); these relics were brought to a magnificent chapel in 1664 (feast, 4 May). The head of St. Anne was kept at Mainz up to 1510, when it was stolen and brought to Düren in Rheinland. St. Anne is the patroness of Brittany. Her miraculous picture (feast, 7 March) is venerated at Notre Dame d’Auray, Diocese of Vannes. Also in Canada, where she is the principal patron of the province of Quebec, the shrine of St. Anne de Beaupré is well known. St. Anne is patroness of women in labor; she is represented holding the Blessed Virgin Mary in her lap, who again carries on her arm the child Jesus. She is also patroness of miners, Christ being compared to gold, Mary to silver. (Source: Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907)
Commemoration of the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost: God is our Helper, and He will always come to our aid He will open the ears of His mercy to our prayers, and will not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength. Let us obey therefore with joy the precepts of the Lord; let us worthily attend In the temple the mysteries of the holy Mass, and partake of the Body of the Lord, the manna of our souls.
This day’s liturgy puts before us in the Epistle and Gospel, the terrible punishments incurred by the Israelites on account of their immorality and irreligion. Twenty-three thousand Hebrews perished in one day on account of their lust; several were killed by serpents for having tempted God by complaining that they had no other food but manna ; many were killed by the destroying angel on account of their murmuring (Epistle), and over a million Jews perished when Jerusalem was destroyed for having rejected the Messiah. They were thrown out of the Kingdom of God as the sellers were driven from the temple which is its figure, for having transformed the house of prayer into a den of thieves (Gospel).
The Gentiles, called in their stead, must therefore be faithful to their vocation and take care not to fall in their turn (Epistle). Let them obey therefore with holy joy the commandments of the Lord (Offertory), let them worthily attend in the temple the Eucharistic mysteries in which the work of our redemption is daily enacted (Secret) and eat the flesh of Jesus which is the true manna of our souls (Communion).
Then will God always come to their help (Introit), He will open the ears of His Mercy to their prayers (Collect), and will not allow them to be tempted beyond their strength (Epistle).
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival-day in honour of blessed Anne; on whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God. (Ps. 44: 2) My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. v. Glory be…etc
O God, Who didst vouchsafe to confer grace on blessed Anne that she might deserve to be made the mother of the mother of Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that, as we celebrate her solemnity, we may be assisted with Thee by her patronage. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Commemoration of the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Let Thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy suppliant people: and that Thou mayest grant their desire to those that seek, make them to ask such things as shall please Thee.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE Proverbs 31: 10-31
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. Who shall find a valiant woman? the price of her is as of things brought from afar off, and from the uttermost coasts. The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils. She will render him good and not evil all the days of her life. She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands: she is like the merchant’s ship, she bringeth her bread from afar: and she hath risen in the night, and given a prey to her household, and victuals to her maidens: she hath considered a field and bought it; with the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard. She hath girded her loins with strength, and hath strengthened her arm. She hath tasted and seen that her traffic is good; her lamp shall not be put out in the night. She hath put out her hands to strong things, and her fingers have taken hold of the spindle. She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow: for all her domestics are clothed with double garments. She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry; fine linen and purple is her covering. Her husband is honorable in the gates, when he sitteth among the senators of the land. She made fine linen and sold it, and delivered a girdle to the Canaanite. Strength and beauty are her clothing: and she shall laugh in the latter day. She hath opened her mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency is on her tongue: she hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle. Her children rose up, and called her blessed; her husband, and he praised her. Many daughters have gathered together riches; thou hast surpassed them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her works praise her in the gates.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 44: 8
Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity. V. Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness. Alleluia, alleluia. V. Grace is poured abroad in thy lips: therefore hath God blessed thee forever. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 13: 44-52
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: “The kingdom of Heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field; which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kinds of fishes; which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have ye understood all these things?” They say to Him, Yes. He said unto them, “Therefore, every scribe instructed in the kingdom of Heaven, is like to a man who is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 44: 10
The daughters of kings in thy glory: the queen stood on thy right hand in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety.
Be appeased, O Lord, we beseech Thee, and look upon the sacrifices here before Thee, that, by the intercession of blessed Anne, who was the mother of Thy Son’s mother, Our Lord Jesus Christ, they may profit both for our devotion and our salvation. Through the same Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
Commemoration of the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Grant to us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may worthily frequent these Mysteries: for as often as the memorial of this Victim is celebrated, the work of our redemption is wrought. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
PREFACE of the Most Holy Trinity
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, ever-lasting God: Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out with one voice saying:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 44: 3
Grace is poured abroad in thy lips: therefore hath God blessed thee forever, and for ages of ages.
Nourished by Thy Heavenly sacraments, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our God, that, by the intercession of blessed Anne, whom Thou didst will to be the mother of Thy Son’s mother, we may be worthy to attain unto everlasting salvation. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.
Commemoration of the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
May the communion of Thy Sacrament, we beseech Thee, O Lord, bring to us cleansing and grant us unity. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.
PROPER LAST GOSPEL Ninth Sunday After Pentecost Luke 16: 41-47
At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, seeing the city, He wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee on every side and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone, because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.” And entering into the temple, He began to cast out them that sold therein, and them, that bought, saying to them: “It is written, ‘My house is the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves’.” And He was teaching daily in the temple.