St. Anne (First century)
The Patron Saint of Infertility
According to a second-century apocryphal work calledThe Protoevangelium of James
, Anne lived with her husband Joachim for many years without bearing a child. But at long last God sent an angel to announce to Anne that she would become pregnant and give birth to a daughter. The angel also promised Anne that her child would be spoken of around the world. "Now I know the Lord God has blessed me exceedingly," Anne said to Joachim. "I, the childless, shall conceive." Anne and Joachim's daughter was, of course, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Since St. Anne is the mother of Mary and the grandmother of Jesus, Christians have always believed that her prayers must have great influence in heaven. Devotion to St. Anne is especially strong among women who long for children but have a hard time becoming pregnant.