Saint Hannah’s Story, go to the Holy Bible, Old Testament,1st Samuel chapter 1-3.
Feast celebrated: December 9
(in the Orthodox Church)
Patron Saint of Childless Wives
The Holy Prophetess Hannah dwelt in marriage with Elkanah, but she was childless. Elkanah took to himself another wife, Phennena, who bore him children. Hannah grieved strongly over her misfortune, and every day she prayed for an end to her barrenness, vowing to dedicate her child to God.
She went to the Temple and prayed fervently, but the priest Heli thought that she was drunk and began to reproach her. But Hannah poured out her grief, and after she received a blessing, she returned home. After this, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son, whom she named Samuel (which means “Asked from God”).
When the child reached the age of boyhood, his mother presented him to the priest Eli, and Samuel remained with him to serve before the Tabernacle (1 Kings/1 Samuel 2: 1-21).
*Canticle of Hannah*
1 Samuel 2:1-10
“My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
“There is none holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.
“Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the Lord is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.
“The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumble are girded with strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, And she who has many children has become feeble.
“The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up. He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory.
“For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He has set the world upon them. He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness.
“For by strength no man shall prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed. “For this child I prayed; And the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord;
As long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord.”
(St. Hannah’s canticle is a reflection of what we would be given in the New Testament as we see in the Canticle of Mary, Hannah’s prayer and Mary’s prayer mirror each other. Read the Canticle of Mary in the gospel of Luke 1:46-55, this is Mary’s response to her cousin Elizabeth’s greeting.)
Why she is venerated by the Holy Roman Catholic Church:
- Samuel became the high priest who anointed David, King of Israel (this is the story of our salvation history)
- One of the few women of the Old Testament to be considered a Prophetess
- Miracles: Through devoted prayer to God, she was able to concieve six children. Prior to this, she was unable to concieve no matter how hard she tried.
If you enjoy icons and history this is a beautiful site about St. Hannah:
The Roman Catholic rite of the Church, celebrates the feast of St.Juan Diego on December 9th, he is also a patron of childless couples.
St. Juan Diego (1474-1548), Juan Diego Cuautlatoatzin; Cuauhtlatoatzin
The layman married Mexican Indian to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared
Born an impoverished free man in a strongly class-conscious society. Farm worker, field labourer, and mat maker. Married layman with no children. A mystical and religious man even as a pagan, he became an adult convert to Christianity around age 50, taking the name Juan Diego. Widower in 1529.