Eastern Feast of Maternity of Anna


Therese did wonderful blog posts about two amazing feast days today: St. Hannah (Hannah’s Tears namesake), and St. Juan Diego.

However, my husband reminded me that today in the Byzantine Catholic calendar, it is the feast of the Maternity of Anna (St. Anne), or the Conception of the Blessed Virgin.

Here is a prayer from Byzantine Matins:

O Adam! O Eve! Lay aside your sorrow!

Behold, a barren womb today wondrously bears fruit:
The Mother of our Joy!

Rejoice, O Father Abraham and all the patriarchs!
See your seed blossom:
The Mother of our God!

Rejoice, O Anna! Rejoice, O Joachim!
Today in a wondrous manner you bear to the world
The fruit of grace and salvation!

Rejoice, O choir of prophets!
Behold, today Anna bears the holy fruit
You foretold to us!

Rejoice, O ye nations!
The barren Anna conceives the fruit of her womb;
By preserving in hope, she bears our life!

Rejoice, O ye ends of the earth!
Behold the barren mother conceives her
Who without human seed will bear the Creator of all!

Today a royal robe of purple and fine linen
Is woven from the loins of David.
The mystical flower of Jessie blossoms
From which comes Christ God, the Savior of our souls!

(From the Matins of the Byzantine Liturgy – December 9th)

[The Icon is the Embrace of Joachim and Anna. This feast celebrates the conception of Mary by Anna and Joachim. This feast is traditionally celebrated on December 9th but has been moved by some Byzantine Churches to December 8th to match the Western feast.]

—Jessica Smith, NFPworks blog

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