What Are Some Biographical Facts About Saint Anne?

Saint Anne and her husband Saint Joachim are the grandparents of Christ through their daughter, the Virgin Mary. Almost everything known about her belongs to tradition, not documentation, but she is much loved in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, and many Christian daughters are named for her.

Saint Anne's family was of the lineage of David. Anne, therefore, was sent to the Temple to live from the age of 4. There she lived a life of prayer and contemplation, becoming very wise, until she turned 16.

While praying for the coming of the Messiah, Anne also prayed the Lord would send her a suitable husband. These prayers were not unrelated, and it happened that Joachim simultaneously prayed for Messiah and a marriage. Thus, the Lord sent the angel Gabriel to tell each their prayers and the prayers of the world were to be answered in one another.

Anne became engaged to Joachim at the age of 18. Thereafter they lived without issue for 50 years, despised by their peers. They prayed together fervently, promising to dedicate their child to God if he gave them one. They did not lose faith and their prayers were answered with a daughter whom they named Mary.

True to their vow, when Mary turned 3, Joachim and Anna dedicated her to God's service in the Temple.

Saint Anne's feast day is celebrated July 25.