The Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Anne
Veneration of St. Anne is closely allied to veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The feasts of Mary's nativity and presentation are in reality feasts of St. Anne, as all praises referring to the daughter are directed also to the mother. Mary surpasses all the faithful in veneration, esteem and in tender and filial love for her holy mother. While Anne and Mary lived on earth, the bond of love that united their hearts was most ardent and intimate. Nor has this bond been dissolved in Heaven.
Rather, it has been drawn still closer and has become indissoluble for all eternity. Mary once appeared to one of her clients and asked her to add to her customary Rosary devotion an Our Father and Hail Mary in honor of Mary's holy mother, St. Anne. "Those who honor St. Anne," said Our Lady, "will obtain great aid in every need, especially at the hour of death." To another person she said: "The honor you show to my mother is doubly dear and pleasing to me."
The learned Bollandists relate that a hermit who was especially devoted to the Blessed Virgin was once seized with bitter anguish of spirit. He fled for refuge to the Queen of Heaven. Radiant with splendor, Mary appeared to him and said: "Since you are lovingly devoted to me, I will take away all your grief and sorrow of soul, but I admonish you to venerate and praise my dear mother also, if you desire great graces from me. I am highly pleased with the affection accorded to my beloved mother. Know, too, that my Son, Jesus, has promised to deliver from misfortune all who honor my mother and to assist them in attaining eternal glory. My son, practice this devotion and make it known."
After speaking these words, Mary vanished, leaving a heavenly perfume in the hermit's cell. The anchorite faithfully complied with the request of the Virgin Mother. From that time on, to every greeting addressed to the Queen of Heaven, he added the prayer: "And blessed be thy sweet mother, Anne, from whom thou didst assume thy virginal flesh."
If we wish to give Mary special joy, let us fervently venerate St. Anne, for every child is pleased to see her mother honored.