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This litany of St. Anne calls upon, and pays tribute to, one of our most beloved Saints, whose feast day is July 26th: the Mother of our Blessed Mother Mary, and the Grandmother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! As with all such prayers it may be prayed individually or in a group setting.
The litany, which references her fine qualities that have been revealed to us in various private revelations, follows:
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of angels and saints, Pray for us.
Saint Anne, Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of Mary the Queen of Heaven, Pray for us.
St. Anne, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
St. Anne, faithful spouse of St. Joachim, Pray for us.
St. Anne, mirror of the married, Pray for us.
St. Anne, example of widows, Pray for us.
St. Anne, miracle of patience, Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of confidence, Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of constancy, Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of prayer, Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of blessing, Pray for us.
St. Anne, vessel of sanctity, Pray for us.
St. Anne, merciful mother, Pray for us.
St. Anne, comfortress of the afflicted, Pray for us.
St. Anne, help of the poor, Pray for us.
St. Anne, protectress of virgins, Pray for us.
St. Anne, support of the oppressed, Pray for us.
St. Anne, refuge of thy clients, Pray for us.
We sinners: Beseech thee to hear us.
Through thy love for Jesus and Mary, We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy virtues and merits, We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy goodness and mercy, We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy compassion and charity, We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the graces bestowed on thee by God, We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the joys thou didst experience with Jesus and Mary, We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the happiness thou dust enjoy for all eternity, We beseech thee, hear us. Through the honor given thee by the saints in heaven, We beseech thee, hear us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us.
Our Father (secretly). Hail, Mary (secretly).
V. Good Saint Anne, pray for us:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. O God, Who didst vouchsafe to blessed Anne the grace to be the mother of her who was to bring forth Thine only-begotten Son: grant, in Thy mercy, that we who devoutly venerate her memory may be aided by her intercession. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
Although St. Anne is not mentioned in the Gospels, her stature among saints is great indeed and she has played a key role in numerous documented healings and miracles.
There is even a Basilica that bears her name in a town that does as well, St. Anne de Beaupre, which is located just about 19 miles northeast of Quebec City, Canada.
The Basilica has an impressive number of crutches in the front of the church along with three first class relics of St. Anne (bones from her finger and forearm) further inside. These are striking testimonies to her healing powers for those afflicted with various ailments who have sought her help.
Some of these have been described in the booklet Good St. Anne, which includes many inspiring prayers to her. It is available from the publisher Tan Books and Amazon.com. And why shouldn’t St. Anne be able to work miracles? She is Jesus’ grandmother after all!
The various private revelations about St. Anne’s life are summed up quite nicely in Raphael Brown’s great highly readable compendium entitled The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics. This book, also available from Tan Books and Amazon.com is filled with revelations concerning our Blessed Mother given to Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich, Ven. Mary of Agreda, St. Bridget of Sweden, and St. Elizabeth Schoenau.
It includes many intriguing and moving details about her life and, in this case, that of her mother St. Anne and her father St. Joachim.
As a reminder we are not required as Catholics to believe any details in such accounts but they do provide some great food for thought in meditations on our Lord and our Lady nonetheless.
According to Brown's account, as is fitting for one who was to be conceived without the stain of Original Sin, Mary’s parents were both quite devout and charitable and they persevered in prayer for a child for some 20 years after their marriage.
Considering that childless couples were ostracized by the Israelites as somehow being unworthy in God’s eyes they lived lives filled with much prayer and penances but they did not give up on appealing to God for a child. As we read in the litany, St. Anne was definitely a “miracle of patience!”
Finally, they were richly rewarded when the angel Gabriel gave them the great news that they were to be blessed with our Blessed Mother! Quite an honor indeed!
Mary herself had a very devout upbringing as related not just by Brown, but by St. Alphonsus Liguori as well in his book The Glories of Mary. She was presented in the Temple at the tender age of three, and, having been conceived without sin, embraced a life of great sanctity and humility in devotion to God.
As st. Alphonsus writes “Above all we should consider the revelations made to St. Bridget, of the virtues and exercises practised by the blessed Virgin in her childhood, in these words: "Even from an infant Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit, and as she increased in age, she increased also in grace. Even from that time she resolved to love God with all her heart, so that he should never be offended by her actions or her words, and for this reason all the goods of earth were despised by her. She gave all she could to the poor. In her food she was so temperate that she only took what was absolutely necessary to support life.”
According to Brown’s account, St. Ann said, somewhat prophetically as her little 3 year old daughter Mary entered the Jerusalem Temple, where she would spend the next ten years in prayer, instruction, and service “The Ark of the Covenant is now in the Temple.”
Indeed, Mary has been called that by theologians such as St. Alphonsus, as she carried our Savior, who would bring forth the new covenant in his earthly ministry, in her womb from the Annunciation to the Nativity. Mary is even referred to as the ark of the covenant in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2976)
As a quick side note, it is important to point out that our Lord announced in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 5, verse 17, that He came not to abolish the Old MOSAIC Covenant but rather to fulfill it! The Sermon on the Mount in Chapters 5 through 7 of Matthew’s Gospel provides further insights about this in moving and inspiring detail.
Going back to St. Anne, St. Teresa of Avila said “We know and are convinced that our good mother St. Anne helps in all needs, dangers, and tribulations, for our Lord wishes to show us that He will do in Heaven what she asks of Him for us.” Mary herself once said that those who honor her mother “will obtain great aid in every need, especially at the hour of death.”
Along this line, the anonymous author of Good St. Anne wrote: “Grandmothers love to see their grandchildren throwing themselves into their arms or into their laps: even so ought we to approach St. Anne, with open heart laying our wants and needs before her in all simplicity. We should feel perfectly convinced that she will obtain for us the favours we are asking through her intercession, or else something better, more useful for our salvation.” Don’t be afraid to ask St. Anne for her help, and honor her in your prayers!