Before the Blessed Virgin Mary, there was Anne of Nazareth, a woman adored by God and filled with God’s Grace. Anne was chosen by God to be the mother of Our Lady and maternal grandmother of Jesus Christ.
Barren and childless for a long time, Anne remained faithful and hopeful. With eyes up and heart open, she fervently prayed for a child with her equally devout husband Joachim. The godly couple’s faith was beautiful and unbreakable. Their way of life pleased and moved God. In response to Anne’s patience and purity, God granted her prayers and blessed her with a daughter like no other: the Mother of God. God loved Anne so much that He did the impossible and made conception at an old age possible. To receive the Mother of God in Anne’s womb was a blessed gift and special grace. Mary was definitely worth the wait! By being docile, Anne was able to be an instrument of God, and her docility made space in her womb for God’s Love to bear fruit. Thus, she was able to carry out the will of God: salvation for mankind.
As a pious woman, she not only received and recognized the gift that God blessed her with, but responded with the gift that only she could give. She devoted the Blessed Virgin Mary to a life of service to God and His Temple. In this way, Anne embodied the ultimate act of love, and the highest expression of the feminine genius, by giving herself and her most beloved daughter at an early age to God. Saint Anne had the ability to carry life and cooperate with God. Because of her maternal love and receptivity to God, Saint Anne was able to raise Mary with grace. She generated a life of purity in Mary by educating her with God’s wisdom. Mary’s womb was blessed just like her own mother’s. Mary, thereby, inherited her mother’s capacity to receive another and ultimately God. Saint Anne is significant because by giving of herself, she blessed the world with Our Lady and Queen Mother who gave birth to Jesus Christ Our Savior.
“She was no ordinary woman; by virtue of being faithful, she became extraordinary.”
May Saint Anne’s story serve as an inspiration to all women. Personally, it made me realize that God loves women for what and who they are, not what they have. In fact, it seems that He comes to women like Saint Anne and Mary knowing how busy they are with their responsibilities at home and the family. He respects women to the extent that He entrusts them to carry life – His creation – and foster a community in this world. Motherhood is our God-given strength as women. He chose women to be spiritual mothers because He believes that they are strong enough and capable of extending their own nature with generosity, sensitivity, receptivity, and maternity. He knows that women can serve and multiply this world responsibly with beauty, truth and goodness. Now that is a very revelatory, empowering, and revolutionary key takeaway. Saint Anne is a testament to the divine and unique role of women, specifically as wives and mothers. She was no ordinary woman; by virtue of being faithful, she became extraordinary. Saint Anne is now known and celebrated as the patron saint of grandparents, mothers, married couples, and the infertile. Let us pray to her for guidance in pursuing spiritual and earthly motherhood!
Feast Day: July 26th
This reflection was written by Kate Cabigao, a 24-year-old Filipina. She is a graduate of NYU Steinhardt’s Education Studies program with a specialization in Global and Urban Education. She loves to write about her thoughts, feelings and experiences, ranging from the silly and mundane to the serious and profound. Her dream is to encourage millennials to make the most of their decisions and actions in life, as well as discover and capitalize on their strengths moving forward.