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Statuary St. Anne

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St. Anne

St Anne, also known as Ann or Anna (meaning "favor" or "grace") of David's house and line, was born in the 1st century B.C.E. She was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ according to Christian and Islamic tradition. She is patroness for horseback riders, housewives, grandmothers, cabinet makers, unmarried women, women in labor and miners.

Mary's mother is not named in the canonical gospels or the Qur'an, and her name and that of her husband Joachim come only from New Testament apocrypha, of which the Protoevangelium of James, written perhaps around 150, seems to be the earliest that mentions them.

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 prior to the late 12th century, dedications to Hanna in the Eastern church 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 and the Dedication of Mary to the Temple are celebrated as two of the Twelve Great Feasts. The Dormition of Hanna is also a minor feast in the Eastern Church. In Protestant tradition it is held that Martin Luther chose to enter religious life as a monk after receiving heavenly aid from St. Anne.

In Islam

Anne (Arabic: Hannah) is also revered in Islam, recognised as a highly spiritual woman and as the mother of Mary. The Qur'an describes her as the daughter of Faqud, who remained childless until her old age. One day she saw a bird feeding its young while sitting in the shade of a tree, which awakened her desire to have children of her own. Hannah prayed for a child and eventually conceived; her husband, named Imran, died before the child was born. Expecting the child to be male, Hannah vowed to dedicate him to isolation and service in the Temple.

However, Hannah bore a daughter instead, and named her Mary. Her words upon delivering Mary reflect her status as a great mystic, realising that while she had wanted a son, this daughter was God's gift to her.

Legends

Varying theologians have believed either that Joachim was Anne's only husband or that she was married three times. Ancient belief, attested to by a sermon of St John Damascene, was that Anne married once. In late medieval times, legend held that Anne was married three times, first to Joachim, then to Clopas and finally to a man named Solomas and that each marriage produced one daughter: Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary of Clopas, and Mary Salomae, respectively. The sister of St Anne was Sobe, who was the mother of Saint Elizabeth.

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 Lutheran mystic Valentine Weigel who claimed Anne conceived Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. This belief was 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 in order to make her fit to bear Christ. The conception of Mary free from original sin is termed the Immaculate Conception—which is frequently confused with the Virgin Birth or Incarnation of Christ.

In the fifteenth century, the Catholic cleric Johann Eck related in a sermon that St Anne's parents were named Stollanus and Emerentia. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1907) regards this genealogy as spurious.

Anne in art

The iconographic subject of Joachim and Anne The Meeting at the Golden Gate fitted both views, and was a regular component of artistic cycles of the Life of the Virgin. 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. 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, the Presentation of Mary and the Marriage of the Virgin 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, 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 and the Circumcision of Christ but in the former case this likely reflects a misidentification through confusion with Anna the Prophetess. Anna is described in Luke's Gospel as a holy widow who recognizes Jesus as the Messiah at his Presentation, along with Simeon the Righteous 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 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, the extended family of Jesus, a popular subject in late medieval Germany, some versions of these pictorial and sculptural depictions include Emerentia who was reputed in the 15th Century to be Anne's mother. In modern devotions, Anne and her husband are invoked for protection for the unborn.

Patronage

Anne is the patron saint of the following places: Detroit, Michigan; Brittany, France; Castelbuono, Sicily, Italy; Quebec and the Mi'kmaq peoples of Canada; Fasnia; Adjuntas, Puerto Rico; Norwich, Connecticut; Santa Ana Pueblo; Santa Ana, El Salvador; Jucuaran, El Salvador; Seama, New Mexico; Taos, New Mexico; Chiclana de la Frontera, Spain; Marsaskala; Tudela, Navarre; Hagonoy, Bulacan and Santa Ana, Taguig City, Philippines; St.Anne Shrine, Malicboy, Pagbilao, Quezon, Philippines ;Santana, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Saint Anne, Illinois; and places in Malaysia and South Vietnam. She is also the patron saint of horseback riders, housewives, grandmothers, cabinet makers, unmarried women, women in labor and miners.

Duren has been the main place of pilgrimage for Anne since 1506, when Pope Julius II decreed that her relics should be kept there.

The text in this box was generated from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the CC-BY-SA.

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Title: Saint Anne - Mother of Mary
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Item Number: KRDOM-432
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