Once upon a time there was a grandmother named Anne who was special. Now, all grandmothers are special, especially yours and mine. They are like that extra gift under the Christmas tree you didn't expect. Grandmothers let you sleep in their big brass beds on cold starched sheets under piles of feather quilts, and they make blueberry pancakes for you the next morning. They have time to sit and rock and say nothing at all while you pat their hair or arms, and they love the little bunches of dandelions you bring them. They let you peel apples for pie and hang sheets on the line and you can pretend they are sails for pirate ships. Grandmothers are a lot like mothers, only they don't scold as much.
Anne was even more special because she was Jesus' grandmother. She never expected to be a grandmother, she never even thought she would be a mother. Anne and her husband Joachim, had prayed and waited, and waited and prayed for years that God would send them a child. As the years passed, Anne grew older and tried not to feel hurt that God had not listened to her prayer.
"If that is the way God wants it," she sighed, "then I must accept it - but I can't understand why." She tried to cover up her sadness by becoming everyone's favorite aunt. She made large round sugar cookies for all the children of the neighborhood and washed the blood off their scraped knees and sewed the rips in their torn robes when their mothers were too busy.
One day when Joachim had gone out to the desert to fast and pray, Anne was sitting by a laurel bush when an angel appeared to her and said: "Anne, the Lord has heard your prayer and you shall conceive and bear a child, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world." And Anne believed the angel and was overjoyed. She promised that whether it be a boy or girl, she would bring it as a gift to the Lord. At the same time an angel also appeared to Joachim, who had been praying in the desert, and the angel told him the same news. At first Joachim was frightened. He thought he had been in the sun too long. But when he came home and Anne told him her exciting news, he too believed that God had finally heard their prayers, and he and his wife hugged each other with happiness.
Finally a sweet little girl was born to them and they called her Mary. Anne remembered her promise to the Lord, and even though it was hard to give up their little girl, they took her to the Temple. The priests in the Temple said that Mary would bring great joy, not only to her parents but also to the whole world. Not much more is known about Anne, except that God must have thought that she was the perfect person to be Mary's mother and Jesus' grandmother. She is the Patron Saint of all grandmothers, without whom life wouldn't be half as much fun. Can you imagine all the kisses the world would lose if there weren't any grandmothers?
Perhaps you never got to meet your grandmother, but you will someday. She is probably right now, talking with Anne in heaven about the party they will have when you will join them one day.
Source: Once upon a time saints. Ethel Pockocki.