This week’s guest blog was written by Megan Naumovski, @boscoworld.blog.
For many years in July, I would post a question on Facebook that let my community know that I would be doing my annual novena to St Anne, Mother of the Virgin Mary and Grandmother of Jesus. St. Anne’s feast day is July 26.
Traditionally, many people have entrusted their hopes for future spouses, and any other “match-making” needs, to this scriptural matriarch. So, I decided St. Anne could certainly be asked to help find roommates and quality friends for those starting college.
Names would pour forth for the duration of the nine days, and sometimes even after, for potential friends, roommates, and future spouses for young adults.
An example of the most beautiful blessings that came from my years of doing the novena concerns my oldest son’s roommates. They stayed together all through college and ended up being his groomsmen in his wedding.
Upon taking my second child to college, as we moved things up to his room, I smiled at the name tags of the guys who would be living directly across the hall from his suite. In big bold letters read: “Michael,” “Gabriel” and “Raphael.”
Thus, I knew the angels were near, and St Anne had prayed for him as I had asked her to do. St. Anne is also the patron saint of pregnant women and grandparents.
Tradition and visionaries over the centuries have told us that St Anne’s story much resembles that of her daughter Mary. Anne and her husband, Joachim, were both from pious families in the line of David, the foretold predecessor of the Messiah.
Both Anne and Joachim, like the betrothed Mary and Joseph, sought to serve God through their marriages and families and kept the traditions of their faith.
Children for a Forlorn Mother’s Heart
In Biblical history, we witness the heartache of women considered barren. This condition was thought to be a scourge from God due to sin by either or both spouse(s). Any such thing outside expected norms could cause societal rejection by disassociation and scorn.
We know Anne’s motherhood echoed many holy women in the Old Testament whose life-long prayer was for a child. Sarah (Genesis 17:17) had to wait until she was 90 years old for her only child, Isaac, to be born.
Likewise, Hannah (1 Samuel) endured long years of heartache waiting for her son Samuel, while her husband’s other wife bore him many sons.
A forlorn woman closer to Anne in both relation and time was Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. Her husband, Zechariah, was stricken dumb for his disbelief that his prayer for a child was finally granted (Luke 1).
Although Anne and Joachim are not mentioned in the New Testament, there are apocryphal writings about them, and legends have evolved. One says that Joachim was criticized at the temple for making a sacrifice under the “sinful” condition of a barren wife.
As a result, he disappeared into the desert for 40 days of contemplation. Anne prayed for Joachim’s return and promised God that, if they had a baby, the child would be dedicated to God’s service.
Supposedly, when they went in search of each other, they met at the “Golden Gate” of Jerusalem. There the Archangel Gabriel foretold that a wondrous child would be granted to them. As promised, this child, Mary, was dedicated and raised at the temple.
We Can’t Go Wrong with St. Anne
While I am sure that Saint Anne will gladly intercede for anyone needing prayers of any kind, one thing I noticed the most over those years of my novena was that the mothers of young adults responded in numbers, and many of them were not Catholic.
Women who hope for children and want good people surrounding and influencing them are wise to turn to St. Anne. She also waited most of her life for a child, so she understands a forlorn mother’s heart.