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Who was Saint Anne?

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Saint Anne was the wife of Joachim, the mother of Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ. Although not named in the Quran or the canonical gospel, she belonged to David’s house as per the Christian tradition. Islam also recognizes her as the mother of Mary and the daughter of Faqud. Saint Anne is the patroness of housewives, grandmothers, unmarried women and women in labor.

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Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches refer to Saint Anne as Hanna. She bears the title Forbear of God as per the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The Quran describes her as a woman who remained childless for many years until she was very old. Out of her desire for a child, she married Imran, and they conceived Mary. Imran, however, died before the birth of his child.

There is an ancient belief that she got married only once as described in the Sermon of Saint John Damascene. Scholars refuted this belief in the late the medieval period. There are claims that she married three times: first to Joachim, next to Clopas, and a third time to Solomas. From each of the marriages, she had a daughter, but it is the marriage to Joachim that gave rise to Mary of Jesus.

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