We have no certain knowledge about St. Anne. She is not mentioned in the New Testament, though some information is alleged in apocryphal literature, chiefly the so-called Protoevangelium of James. This document likely dates from the second century. While the Church has rejected it as Scripture––it lacks the sobriety of the sacred texts, especially regarding the fabulous miracles attributed to the Child Jesus, it incidentally may record some true facts, as it does facts of Jewish custom of the day. It is likely, therefore, that the names Joachim and Anne were recorded in it as being already widely known at the time.
St. Anne is recognized as patroness of housewives, women in labor, cabinetmakers, and miners. Her emblem is a door. She has been frequently represented in art, and the lovely face depicted by Leonardo da Vinci comes first to mind in this connection. The name Anne derives from the Hebrew Hannah, meaning “grace.”