Devotion to Saint Anne, by Father Reginald

Devotion to Saint Anne is one of the strongest of Catholic devotions of the present day. It has increased rapidly in these islands of late, or, rather, it has enjoyed a strong revival, for this one of the oldest devotions. The cult and honour of Saint Anne was an inseparable part of the lives of medieval Christians, but suffered a partial decline in the last few centuries, but now Saint Anne is regaining her proper place in the lives and devotions of Catholics.

How can we best show our devotion to her, as to all other saints? By praying to her and honouring her, but especially by the sincerest form of devotion and love, which is imitation. It is not enough to pray to the saints, to ask for favours constantly. It we would be their true clients, we must model our lives on theirs and follow in their footsteps, imitating their virtues. Thus must we act, in our devotions to Saint Anne. If we are husbands or wives, especially, we must follow the example of Joachim and Anne, that perfect ideal couple, helpful and kind and tolerant to each other always, trusting each other implicitly and always putting the best construction on each other’s actions.

They bore each other’s burdens at all times, shared each other’s crosses, without imputing blame on either; especially that heavy cross of sterility, they bore without reproach, trusting and praying instead of separating, as they were legally entitled to do. They joined, instead, in trustful loving prayer and supplication, with resignation waiting behind all, that if it was God’s Will He would have them a child and if not, that His Will might be done. Let childless couples, then, weighed down with the cross of sterility, pray to Saint Anne and supplicate her to use her powerful influence with Mary and Mary’s Son to remove their barrenness and send them the gift of a child. But, above all, let them imitate her – her humility, her faith, her loving trust and perseverance in prayer; and if their prayer is not answered, do not let them be downcast, for Anne will obtain for them other great blessings instead.