St. Anne Mother of the Blessed Virgin
Butler's Lives of the Saints – July 26.
THE Hebrew word Anne signifies gracious. St. Joachim and St. Anne, the parents of
the Blessed Virgin Mary, are justly honored in the church, and their virtue is highly
extolled by St. John Damascen. The emperor Justinian I built a church at
Constantinople in honor of St. Anne, about the year 550. Codinus mentions another
built by Justinian II, in 705. Her body was brought from Palestine to Constantinople
in 710, whence some portions of her relics have been dispersed in the West. F. Cuper
the Bollandist has collected a great number of miracles wrought through her
intercession.  God has been pleased by sensible effects to testify how much he is
honored by the devotion of the faithful to this saint, who was the great model of
virtue to all engaged in the married state, and charged with the education of
children. It was a sublime dignity and a great honor for this saint to give to a lost
world the advocate of mercy and to be parent of the Mother of God. But it was a far
greater happiness to be, under God, the greatest instrument of her virtue and to be
spiritually her mother by a holy education in perfect innocence and sanctity St. Anne,
being herself a vessel of grace--not by name only, but by the  possession of that rich
treasure--was chosen by God to form his most beloved spouse to perfect virtue; and
her pious care of this illustrious daughter was the greatest means of her own
sanctification and her glory in the church of God to the end of ages. It is a lesson to
all parents whose principal duty is the holy education of their children. By this they
glorify their Creator, perpetuate his honor on earth to future ages, and sanctify their
own souls. St. Paul says that it is by the education of their children that parents are
to be saved. Nor will he allow any one who has had children, ever to be admitted to
serve the altar, whose sons do not, by their holy conduct, give proofs of a virtuous
education.          Nevertheless, we see parents solicitous about the corporal
qualifications of their children, and earnest to procure them an establishment m the
world; yet supinely careless in purchasing them virtue, in which alone their true
happiness consists. This reflection drew tears from Crates, a heathen philosopher
who desired to mount on the highest place in his city, and cry out, with all his
strength, "Citizens, what is it you think of? You employ all your time in heaping up
riches to leave to your children; yet take no care to cultivate their souls with virtue,
as if an estate were more precious than themselves."
Lives of Saints