Monday, July 23, 2012

Stories of St. Anne I

The feast of St. Anne is coming up on Thursday, the 26th of July.  In honor of her special day, each day of the week, I'd like to share some exerpts from the book.  Here's the first:

"Good St. Anne"


How holy must have been the woman in whom the great mystery of the Immaculate Conception was accomplished! How holy the womb into which the fullness of grace descended, in which the child “full of grace” was conceived and took flesh! Great was the dignity of St. Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Baptist, who was privileged to have her son sanctified in her womb; but how much greater is the dignity of St. Anne, whose child, by a special prerogative, from the first instant of her conception was preserved from all taint of sin! Holy was the root from which sprouted the tree that bore the holiest Fruit, Jesus. St. Anne’s sanctity was increased still more through this wonderful conception: and indeed, how highly must she have been sanctified who bore the Mother of God! Is it any wonder that St. Jerome praises her in the words: “Anne is the glorious tree from which bloomed a twig under divine influence. She is the sublime heaven from whose heights the Star of the Sea neared its rising. She is the blessed barren woman, happy mother among mothers, from whose pure womb came forth the shining temple of God, the sanctuary of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of God!”

Yes, great indeed was the privilege and dignity conferred by God on St. Anne in electing her to be the mother of the treasury of all graces! How great must have been St. Anne’s joy, how blissful her delight, when, contrary to all hope, she gave birth to a child! And what a child! Never before had earth beheld a child so fair and noble as Anne’s infant daughter, “conceived without stain of Original Sin.” Never had there been a maternity so rich in blessings as hers—she who was privileged to call her child by the exalted title of “Mother of God.”

Well indeed might St. John Damascene, a great Doctor of the Church, exclaim: “Blessed, thrice blessed art thou, O Saint Anne, who didst receive from God and bring forth the blessed child from whom proceeded Christ, the Flower of life! We congratulate thee, O blessed Anne, on the dignity of being the mother of Mary, for thou hast brought forth our common hope, the germ of Promise! All pious lips bless thee in thy daughter, all languages glorify thy child! Worthy art thou above all praise, worthy of the praise of all who are redeemed, for thou hast given life to her who brought forth our Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

Even her name “Anne” signifies “gracious, loving” and typifies her sublime destiny. She too had been chosen by God from eternity, and to her, as to her daughter, Mary, may be applied the words: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His ways . . . I was set up from eternity.” (Prov. 8:22-23). God prepared St. Anne with magnificent gifts and graces. Of her may be said what St. Bernardine of Siena wrote of St. Joseph: “In the kingdom of grace the universal rule is: If God elects anyone for a special privilege and a sublime state, He bestows on that person all the gifts necessary for his state and adornment.” “Anne was the most chaste of virgins,” wrote Mary of Agreda in The Mystical City of God. “From her very childhood, she possessed the fullness of every virtue. She was continually engaged in devout meditation. Her unceasing prayer was that the Redeemer might come soon.” As the works of God are perfect, it was natural to expect that He should make St. Anne a worthy mother of that most pure creature who was superior in sanctity to all creatures and inferior only to God. Had St. Anne not been adorned with angelic purity, she could not have become the mother of the Virgin of virgins. The great miracle of Mary’s Immaculate Conception fittingly took place in St. Anne’s pure womb.

In her visions, the servant of God, Anne Catherine Emmerich, beheld St. Anne in ecstasy, enveloped in heavenly splendor and surrounded by a host of Angels at the moment of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. She beheld how the heavens opened, and she saw the holy Angels and the Most Holy Trinity rejoice. Equally great was the jubilation at the Blessed Virgin’s birth. These are but a few rays of St. Anne’s dignity and sanctity.

"Good St. Anne" 
Nihil Obstat: William J. Blacet, J.C.L.
Censor Librorum
Imprimatur: +J. John P. Cody, S.T.D.
Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph
December 4, 1957

Originally published by the Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration, Clyde, Missouri in 1958. 

For the week ahead: here are some ideas/links for celebrating the Feast of St. Anne 

* Aussie Annie at Under Her Starry Mantel has written many wonderful posts honoring St. Anne.
*  If you live near New Jersey, Hoboken has one of the longest-standing festivals of St. Anne in the new world.  If we were less than a half continent away, I'd check it out!
*  Canada has long been known for its traditional patronage of St. Anne.  Check out the information on the pilgrimage to the beautiful and miraculous shrine of Sainte Anne de Beaupre here.
*  You can find a really neat felt St. Anne and child Mary statue/doll to make at this Catholic Crafts Blog. (Love these!)
*  This same blog, Crafolic, has a wonderful monthly link-up called "Tea With St. Anne" -- for crafty and inspiring Domestic Church ideas!  Very cool!
* Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda has a lovely coloring page for St. Anne's feastday.
*  And I love this craft idea of Charlotte's from a couple years back: St Anne's Family Album
* As always, Catholic Cuisine, is the go-to blog for culinary celebration!
* And, as you might have guessed.. St. Anne has come up in the conversation on this blog before.  Just a few times...
*  It's totally unrelated to the feast of St. Anne, but in our wanderings, researching our saint of the day (tomorrow), we found this video of the Ballad of St. Anne's Reel, sung by John Denver.  (We love John Denver... and just had to share it for anyone else who also likes our Colorado baladeer.)

1 comment:

E said...

I am not a Catholic person but I have long been fascinated by your Church. I love these posts. I listen and I learn. You give me good things to think about and I always feel a little lighter when I leave