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St. Anne With Child, The Virgin Mary

St. Anne With Child, The Virgin Mary

Although St. Anne is not directly mentioned in the New Testament, she played a vital role in the story of the Nativity. Recorded as Hannah in Hebrew, Anne is the mother of the Virgin Mary, therefore the maternal grandmother of Jesus. She is traditionally recognized as the patron saint of housewives, women in labor, cabinet-makers, and miners. St Anne's Feast Day is observed on both July 26 and the Sunday before Nativity of the Virgin Mary on September 8. In 1138 AD, the Church of St. Anne was built in the Muslim Quarter of the old city of Jerusalem.

Anne’s life was documented in the apocryphal Gospel of James (ca. 145 AD), also known as the Protoevangelium of James. Anne was born in Bethlehem, and was born into the “house of David” signifying she was a direct descendant of King David. This is noteworthy because 700 years earlier, the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14) warned the house of David that if they continued to test the patience of the Lord, God would send a sign in the form of a virgin conceiving and bearing a son.

Anne married Joachim from Nazareth, a shepherd that supplied sheep for sacrifices at the temple of Jerusalem. Although they were both faithful to the temple, they fell out of favor because their union had not produced offspring. Barren couples were shunned because priests interpreted it as a sign of divine displeasure. To demonstrate his faith and regain favor, Joachim traveled into the desert to fast and pray for 40 days and 40 nights. Anne didn’t know where Joachim had gone, and she cried out in despair "Why was I born, Lord?" An angel appeared to tell Anne she would soon give birth to a daughter who she would name Mary, and Mary’s life would be dedicated to God. This immaculate conception showed favor from God, and was a precursor to Mary’s purity. An angel visited Joachim in the desert and shared the joyous news. Anne and Joachim reunited at the golden gate of Jerusalem on the edge of town.

To demonstrate their faith and gratitude, Anne and Joachim vowed to consecrate Mary into the Temple when she reached the appropriate age, and the noble child joined the select group of virgins consecrated to God. Mary happily spent the majority of her childhood at the Temple, and the priests cared for her after her parents passed away when she was approximately 11 years old.  When Mary was 14 years old, the temple betrothed her to Joseph of Nazareth. Mary & Joseph’s life together is well documented in the bible, including the birth of their son, Jesus, and his life on earth.

St. Anne is the subject of multiple historic works of art, including “The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne,“ painted by Leonardo DaVinci, commissioned for the Church of Santissima Annunziata in Florence.  DaVinci’s piece captures the Virgin Mary sitting on Anne’s lap while tending to her newborn. Other frescos capture Mary sitting on Anne’s lap in an ornate throne, with Jesus either on Mary’s lap or within arm’s reach. This is significant because Anne passed away prior to Jesus’ birth, yet her followers strongly acknowledge her influence on Jesus through the beliefs she instilled in Mary.

 

    
1. DaVinci’s: “The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne"         
2. Unknown Artist: “Madonna and child with Saint Anne”

St. Anne’s artistic symbols include her careful instruction of Mary, an ornate crown, a nest of young birds or the Golden Gate of Jerusalem. The artisans at Global Bronze designed a modest pose of Anne alongside her daughter holding a bible to denote both her faithful observance of the Temple’s beliefs and the nurturing love of a mother.

Families selecting the St. Anne statue would honor their loved one's memory by highlighting the strong devotion to the Church and the unconditional love of a parent. The 6' statue is available in traditional lost wax Bronze, or in our proprietary FiberBronze™ or FiberMarble™ finish. Global Bronze manufactures a wide array of hand crafted statues, artistic reliefs, and bronze ornaments to provide your clients personalized ways to memorialize the life of their loved ones.