S. Annae Matris B.M.V. ~ II. classis
Today is The Feast Day of St. Anne, mother of the Blessed Mother of Jesus…
From today’s Divinum Officium:
From the Sermons of St John of Damascus.
2nd on the Birth of the Blessed Virgin.
The home of Anne is set before us, wherein to see an ensample both of married and of maiden life, the one in the person of the mother, the other in that of the daughter, whereof the one hath but now ceased to be barren, and the other is in a little while destined, beyond the course of nature, to become the Mother of the Messiah by a singular birth, specially designed by God to build up anew our nature. It is with reason then that Anne, filled with the Holy Ghost, with joyful and jubilant spirit singeth aloud: Rejoice with me, for out of my barren womb I have borne the bud of promise, and, as I have longed, I nourish at my breasts the fruit of benediction. I have laid aside the mournful garments of barrenness, and put on the joyful raiment of fruitfulness. Let Hannah the adversary of Peninnah make merry with me, and join with me for fellow-feeling, in singing of this new and unhoped-for wonder that is wrought in me.
Let Sarah be glad that was joyfully pregnant in her old age, and was a shadow cast before of my conception that hitherto have been barren. Let all the barren and fruitless break forth into singing, when they behold in what wondrous wise I have been visited from heaven. Let all mothers likewise, that like Anne are gifted with fruitfulness, say: Blessed be He That gave their desire unto them that besought Him, That gave fruitfulness unto her that was barren, and That granted unto her that from her should bud forth the joy-bringing Virgin, who, according to the flesh, was Mother of God, and whose womb was a heaven wherein He dwelt Whom no place can contain. Let us also with them offer our praises to her that was called barren, but now is become the mother of a maidchild; let us say unto her in the words of the Scripture: O how blessed is the house of David from whence thou art sprung, and that womb wherein God hath fashioned the ark of His holiness, that is, her, by whom He was Himself conceived without man’s seed.
Blessed art thou, and thrice blessed, whom God hath so blessed as to make thee to bring forth, as His own gift, the babe Mary, whose very name is highly honourable, out of whom Christ, the Flower of life, blossomed a maiden whose rising is glorious, and whose delivery is worth more than the world. We also, O woman most blessed, do wish thee joy. In sooth thou hast brought forth what we have all hoped for, and God hath given us, namely, the babe of promise. Blessed indeed art thou, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. The tongues of all the godly do magnify thine offspring, and every glad word is spoken concerning her of whom thou art delivered. Meet in truth is it, and most meet to praise her who received a revelation from the goodness of God, and bore for us such and so great a fruit, from whom sweet Jesus sprang.