New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Anne

detail of an engraving of Saint Anne educating the Blessed Virgin Mary while Saint Joachim watches; early 18th century by Pierre-Imbert Drevet; Wellcome Library, London, England; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

(Hebrew: grace) Traditional name of the wife of Joachim and mother of the Blessed Virgin. No records of her life are found outside of the apocryphal literature, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Protoevangelium of James. From these we learn that Anne and Joachim had reached old age and still remained childless; their prayers were answered, an angel of the Lord announcing to Anne that the fruit of her womb would be blessed by all the world. The belief that Anne, in the conception and birth of Mary, remained a virgin was condemned by the Holy See, 1677. Devotion to her, popular from an early date in the East, began in the West at Douai and spread rapidly through the Church after 1584. There are shrines to her in many churches, and those at Saint Anne d’Auray, Brittany, and Saint Anne de Beaupre, Canada, are popular places of pilgrimage. Patroness of Brittany, France, Canada, housewives, women in labor, cabinet-makers, and miners. Emblem: a door. Feast, Roman Calendar, 26 July.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Anne”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 29 July 2012. Web. 7 July 2020. <>