Saint Anna (also Ann or Anne, from Hebrew Hannahחַנָּה, meaning “favor” or “grace”) of David‘s house and line, was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ according to Christian Tradition. St Anna is the Greek rendering of her Hebrew name Hannah. Mary’s mother is not named in the canonical gospels.
Christian view: According to the Gospel of James, a document of the New Testament apocrypha, St Anna and her husband St Joachim, after years of childlessness, were visited by an angel who told them that they would conceive a child. St Anna promised to dedicate the child to God’s service. St Joachim and St Anna are believed to have given Mary to the service of the Second Temple when the girl was three years old.
The story bears a superficial similarity to that of the birth of Samuel, whose mother Hannah had also been childless. Although St Anna’s cult receives little attention in the Western church prior to the late 12th century, dedications to St Anna in the Eastern church occur as early as the 6th century. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, St Anna 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.
I made this one for my mother and she came with us to the blessing of the icons in the Byzantium service.
There was a tradition that St Anna went (separately) to Egypt and rejoined the Holy Family after their Flight to Egypt. St Anna is not seen with the adult Christ, so was regarded as having died during the youth of Jesus. St Anna is also shown as the matriarch of the Holy Kinship, the extended family of Jesus, a popular subject in late medieval Germany. In modern devotions, St Anna and her husband are invoked for protection for the unborn.
Patronage: St Anna is the patron saint of housewives, grandmothers, cabinet makers, unmarried women, women in labor and miners.