The Conception by Saint Anna, of "Whence is Conceived the Holy Mother of God"
Commemorated on December 9
The Conception by Saint Anna, of
"Whence is Conceived the Holy Mother of God": Saint Anna, the mother
of the Most Holy Mother of God, was the youngest daughter of the priest Nathan
from Bethlehem, descended from the tribe of Levi. She entered into marriage
with Saint Joakim (their mutual memory is made 9 September), who was a native
of Galilee. For a long time Saint Anna was childless, but after a span of some
20 years, through the fervent prayer of both spouses, an Angel of the Lord
announced to them the Conception of a Daughter, Who would bring blessing to all
the human race. The Conception by Saint Anna took place at Jerusalem, where
also was born the Most Holy Virgin Mary by name. The majority of icons,
dedicated to the Conception by Saint Anna, portray the Most Holy Virgin trampling
underfoot the serpent. "Down the icon, along its sides, Saints Joakim and
Anna are depicted usually with upraised hands prayerfully folded; their eyes
also are directed upward and hey contemplate the Mother of God, Who as it were
soars in the air with outstretched hands; under Her feet is portrayed an orb
wound round with a serpent symbolising the devil, which in the face of fallen
forefathers strives to conquer with its power all the universe".
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.