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St. Ann

Ann is thought to be the name of the grandmother of Jesus. The apocryphal Protevangelium of James relates that the parents of the Blessed Mother were named Ann (Hebrew: Hannah) and Joachim. According to this unreliable source, Ann and Joachim were childless until both beseeched the Lord for a child; an angel then announced that Ann would bear Mary and Ann promised to dedicate the baby to the Lord. The story goes on to relate that St. Joachim died shortly after the birth Jesus, but this source is not a reliable historical record; the Fathers of the Church discounted it. During the Middle Ages other legendary stories developed around the saintly couple. Through the centuries, many miracles have been attributed to the intercession of St. Anne; devotion to her in the West began to flourish in the thirteenth century, after Jacobus de Voragine’s Golden Legend retold the story. St. Anne is the patroness of grandparents, cabinetmakers, miners, and women in labor. The feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim is July 26.

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