Tradition holds that St. Anne, or Ann, is the mother of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. There is no mention of Anne in the bible. Non-biblical books from the early Christian centuries acknowledge Mary’s parents as Joachim and Anne. These sources claim that Joachim and Anne were childless for many years of their marriage. The angel Gabriel appeared to them separately and declared that they would in fact bear a child who must be dedicated to God. Hence, Anne became the mother of our Blessed Virgin Mary.

Made universal by Pope Gregory XIII, the church celebrates her feast day along with Joachim, on July 26th. St. Anne, Hebrew for Hannah, meaning “grace”, eventually became the patron saint of married women and childless couples. Artistic representations show St. Anne with her child Mary on her lap holding Christ Jesus.