Saint Anne
Saint Hanna of David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

's house and line, was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ according to Christian
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic tradition. English Anne is derived from Greek rendering of her Hebrew name Hannah
Hannah (given name)
Hannah is a personal name, also spelt Hanna, Hana, or Chana, deriving from the Hebrew language חַנָּה , meaning "He has favoured me/favours me ", or "gracious". The name is biblical as it is the name of the mother of the prophet Samuel...

. Mary's mother is not named in the canonical gospels or the Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...


Church tradition

The story bears a similarity to that of the birth of Samuel, whose mother Hannah had also been childless. Although Hanna receives little attention in the Western church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 prior to the late 12th century,
dedications to Hanna in the Eastern church
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

 occur as early as the 6th century. In the Eastern Orthodox Churches and Eastern Catholic Churches, she is revered as Hanna. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Hanna, is ascribed the title Forbear of God, and both the Birth of Mary
Nativity of the Theotokos
The Nativity of the Theotokos, celebrating the birth of Mary, is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Eastern Orthodox liturgical year. It is celebrated on September 8 on the liturgical calendar .According to the sacred tradition of the Orthodox Church,...

 and the Dedication of Mary to the Temple
Presentation of Mary
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary , or The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple , is a liturgical feast celebrated by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Orthodox Churches....

 are celebrated as two of the Twelve Great Feasts. The Dormition of Hanna is also a minor feast in the Eastern Church
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

. In Protestant tradition it is held that Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 chose to enter religious life as a monk after receiving heavenly aid from St. Anne.

Islamic view of Anne

Anne (Arabic: Hannah) also a revered woman in Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, and she is recognized as a highly spiritual woman and the mother of Mary
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

. The daughter of Faqud, Hannah was childless until her old age. She saw a bird feeding its young while sitting in the shade of a tree, which made her want children of her own. She prayed for a child and eventually conceived. Her husband, known as Imran in the Qur'an, died before the child was born. Expecting the child to be male, Hannah vowed to dedicate him to isolation and the service in the Temple."O my Lord! I do dedicate into Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service: So accept this of me: For Thou hearest and knowest all things." (Qur'an 3:35). However, Hannah bore a daughter instead, and she named her Mary. Her words When Mary was delivered, she said, "O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!" - and God knew best what she brought forth - "And nowise is the mal like the female."(Qur'an 3:36) after the birth of Mary reflect her status as a great mystic
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

. Hannah wanted a son, but she realized that the daughter was God's gift to her.


Varying theologians have believed either that Joachim
Saint Joachim was the husband of Saint Anne and the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican traditions. The story of Joachim and Anne appears first in the apocryphal Gospel of James...

 was Anne's only husband or that she was married thrice. Ancient belief, attested to by a sermon of St John Damascene
John of Damascus
Saint John of Damascus was a Syrian monk and priest...

, was that Anne married once. In late medieval times, legend held that Anne was married three times, first to Joachim, then to Clopas
Clopas Clopas Clopas (also known as Cleophas (KJV or Clophas) is a figure of early Christianity. The name appears only once in the New Testament, specifically in John 19:25:...

 and finally to a man named Solomas and that each marriage produced one daughter: Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary of Clopas, and Mary Salomae
Salome (disciple)
Salome , sometimes venerated as Mary Salome, was a follower of Jesus who appears briefly in the canonical gospels and in more detail in apocryphal writings...

, respectively. The sister of Saint Hanna was Sobe
Sobe (sister of Saint Anne)
Sobe also known as Sovin, was the mother of St. Elizabeth and a sister of St. Anne, according to medieval Byzantine sources.The Bible records only that Elizabeth as a descendant of Aaron and a cousin of Mary...

 who was the mother of Saint Elizabeth
Elizabeth (Biblical person)
Elizabeth is also spelled Elisabeth or Elisheva...


Similarly, in the 4th century and then much later in the 15th century, a belief arose that Mary was born of Anne by virgin birth. Those believers included the 16th century mystic Valentine Weigel who claimed Anne conceived Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

. This belief was also condemned as an error by the Catholic Church in 1677. Instead, the Church teaches that Mary was conceived in the normal fashion, but that she was miraculously preserved from original sin
Original sin
Original sin is, according to a Christian theological doctrine, humanity's state of sin resulting from the Fall of Man. This condition has been characterized in many ways, ranging from something as insignificant as a slight deficiency, or a tendency toward sin yet without collective guilt, referred...

 in order to make her fit to bear Christ. The conception of Mary free from original sin is termed the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, according to which the Virgin Mary was conceived without any stain of original sin. It is one of the four dogmata in Roman Catholic Mariology...

—which is frequently confused with the Virgin Birth
Virgin Birth
The virgin birth of Jesus is a tenet of Christianity and Islam which holds that Mary miraculously conceived Jesus while remaining a virgin. The term "virgin birth" is commonly used, rather than "virgin conception", due to the tradition that Joseph "knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn...

 or Incarnation
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial....

 of Christ.

In the fifteenth century, catholic cleric Johann Eck
Johann Eck
Dr. Johann Maier von Eck was a German Scholastic theologian and defender of Catholicism during the Protestant Reformation. It was Eck who argued that the beliefs of Martin Luther and Jan Hus were similar.-Life:...

 related in a sermon that St Anne's parents were named Stollanus and Emerentia
Emerentia is the name given for a grandmother of Mary, mother of Jesus, in some European traditions and art from the late 15th century.-2nd to 14th centuries:...

. The Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index...

(1907) regards this genealogy as spurious.

Ann in art

The iconographic subject of Joachim and Anne The Meeting at the Golden Gate
Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate
Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate is a 1504 woodcut by the German artist Albrecht Dürer that depicts the standard scene of the parents of the Virgin Mary, Joachim and Anne meeting at the Golden Gate of Jerusalem after Anne discovers she is unexpectedly pregnant...

 fitted both views, and was a regular component of artistic cycles of the Life of the Virgin
Life of the Virgin
The Life of the Virgin, showing narrative scenes from the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a common subject for pictorial cycles in Christian art, often complementing, or forming part of, a cycle on the Life of Christ. In both cases the number of scenes shown varies greatly with the space...

. The couple meet at the "Golden Gate" of Jerusalem and embrace. They are aware of Anne's pregnancy, of which they have been separately informed by an archangel
An archangel is an angel of high rank. Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels in Judaism and by most Christians. Michael is the only archangel specifically named in the Protestant Bible...

. For those believing in the virgin birth of Mary, this moment stood for her conception, and the feast was celebrated on the same day as the Immaculate Conception. Art works representing the Golden Gate and the events leading up to it were influenced by the narrative in the widely read Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine. The Birth of Mary
Nativity of Mary
The Nativity of Mary, or Birth of the Virgin and various permutations, is celebrated as a liturgical feast in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and in most Anglican liturgical calendars on 8 September, nine months after the solemnity of her Immaculate Conception, celebrated on 8 December...

, the Presentation of Mary
Presentation of Mary
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary , or The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple , is a liturgical feast celebrated by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Orthodox Churches....

 and the Marriage of the Virgin
Marriage of the Virgin
The Marriage of the Virgin is the subject in Christian art depicting the marriage of the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph. The marriage is not mentioned in the canonical Gospels but is covered in several apocryphal sources, and later redactions, notably the 14th century compilation the Golden Legend...

 were usual components of cycles of the Life of the Virgin in which Anne is normally shown.

Anne is never shown as present at the Nativity of Christ
Nativity of Jesus in art
The Nativity of Jesus has been a major subject of Christian art since the 4th century. The artistic depictions of the Nativity or birth of Jesus, celebrated at Christmas, are based on the narratives in the Bible, in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and further elaborated by written, oral and...

, but is frequently shown with the infant Christ in various subjects. She is sometimes believed to be depicted in scenes of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, which falls on 2 February, celebrates an early episode in the life of Jesus. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and some Eastern Catholic Churches, it is one of the twelve Great Feasts, and is sometimes called Hypapante...

 and the Circumcision of Christ
Circumcision of Christ
The Feast of the Circumcision of Christ is a Christian celebration of the circumcision of Jesus in accordance with Jewish tradition, eight days after his birth, the occasion on which the child was formally given his name.The circumcision of Jesus has traditionally been seen, as explained in the...

 but in the former case this likely reflects a misidentification through confusion with Anna the Prophetess. Anne is described in Luke's Gospel as a holy widow who recognizes Jesus as the Messiah at his Presentation, along with Simeon the Righteous
Simeon the Righteous
Simeon is the "just and devout" man of Jerusalem who, according to , met the Virgin Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as they entered the Temple to fulfill the requirements of the Law of Moses on the 40th day from Jesus' birth.According to the Biblical account,...

 and both frequently appear in artistic depictions of the story. There was a tradition that Anne went (separately) to Egypt and rejoined the Holy Family
Holy Family
The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph.The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Roman Catholic Church in honor of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family...

 after their Flight to Egypt. Anne is not seen with the adult Christ, so was regarded as having died during the youth of Jesus. Anne is also shown as the matriarch of the Holy Kinship
Holy Kinship
Holy Kinship was a popular theme in religious art throughout Germany and the Low Countries, especially during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The Holy Kin were the extended family of Jesus descended from his maternal grandmother St. Anne. According to this tradition, St...

, the extended family of Jesus, a popular subject in late medieval Germany. In modern devotions, Anne and her husband are invoked for protection for the unborn.

Another typical subject has Anne teaching the Virgin Mary how to read (see gallery below).


Ann is the patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of the following places: Detroit, Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

; Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

; Castelbuono
Castelbuono is a town and comune in the province of Palermo, Sicily . It is especially famous for the castle which its name derives, and around which the city grew up in the 14th century.-History:...

, Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

; Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 and the Mi'kmaq peoples of Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

; Fasnia
Fasnia is the name of a municipality, town, and valley in the eastern part of the Spanish island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, and part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The municipality is located in the southeastern end of the island, and extends for from the mountainous...

; Adjuntas, Puerto Rico
Adjuntas, Puerto Rico
Adjuntas is a small mountainside municipality in Puerto Rico located central midwest of the island on the Central Mountain range , north of Yauco, Guayanilla and Peñuelas; southeast of Utuado; east of Lares and Yauco; and west of Ponce. Adjuntas is spread over 16 wards and Adjuntas Pueblo...

; Norwich, Connecticut
Norwich, Connecticut
Regular steamship service between New York and Boston helped Norwich to prosper as a shipping center through the early part of the 20th century. During the Civil War, Norwich once again rallied and saw the growth of its textile, armaments, and specialty item manufacturing...

; Santa Ana Pueblo; Santa Ana, El Salvador
Santa Ana, El Salvador
Santa Ana is the second largest city in El Salvador, located 64 kilometers west of San Salvador, the capital city. Santa Ana has approximately 274,830 inhabitants and serves both as the capital of the department of Santa Ana and...

; Jucuarán
Jucuarán is a municipality in the Usulután department of El Salvador....

, El Salvador; Seama, New Mexico
Seama, New Mexico
Seama is a census-designated place in Cibola County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 333 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Seama is located at ....

; Taos, New Mexico
Taos, New Mexico
Taos is a town in Taos County in the north-central region of New Mexico, incorporated in 1934. As of the 2000 census, its population was 4,700. Other nearby communities include Ranchos de Taos, Cañon, Taos Canyon, Ranchitos, and El Prado. The town is close to Taos Pueblo, the Native American...

; Chiclana de la Frontera
Chiclana de la Frontera
Chiclana de la Frontera is a town in southwestern Spain, in the province of Cádiz, near the Gulf of Cadiz. The area is a fertile region, with much agriculture, including vineyards...

, Spain; Marsaskala
Marsaskala is a sea-side village in Malta that has grown up around the small harbour at the head of Marsaskala Bay, a long narrow inlet also known as Marsaskala Creek...

; Tudela, Navarre
Tudela, Navarre
Tudela is a municipality in Spain, the second city of the autonomous community of Navarre. Its population is around 35,000. Tudela is sited in the Ebro valley. Fast trains running on two-track electrified railways serve the city and two freeways join close to it...

; Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, where the National Shine of St. Anne is in the poblacion
A Poblacion or Población, literally "town" or "Population" in Spanish, is the name commonly used for the central barangay or barangays of a Philippine city or municipality. Common features of the poblacion include a town plaza, church, market, school and town hall. It is sometimes shortened to...

 of Hagonoy, Bulacan
Hagonoy, Bulacan
Hagonoy is a 1st class urban municipality in the province of Bulacan, Philippines. According to the 2007 NSO census, it has a population of 126,329 inhabitants distributed in 25,900 households. It is the birthplace of Former Senator Blas F...

; Santana, São Paulo, Brazil; Saint Anne, Illinois; and places in Malaysia and South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

. She is also the patron saint of horseback riders, housewives, grandmothers, cabinet makers, unmarried women, women in labor
Childbirth is the culmination of a human pregnancy or gestation period with the birth of one or more newborn infants from a woman's uterus...

 and miner
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...


Düren is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, capital of Düren district. It is located between Aachen and Cologne on the river Rur.-Roman era:Celts inhabited Düren's area before the Romans. They called their small settlement Durum . After the Celts other Germanic tribes settled this area...

 has been the main place of pilgrimage for Anne since 1506, when Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

 decreed that her relics should be kept there.


The city of Santa Ana, California
Santa Ana, California
Santa Ana is the county seat and second most populous city in Orange County, California, and with a population of 324,528 at the 2010 census, Santa Ana is the 57th-most populous city in the United States....

was named in her honour.
Many schools and places of worship are named after St Anne, the most famous being a parish church and primary school in Caversham, Reading.

External links

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