Let us pause yet a while and consider in what high esteem St. Anne is held by Our Lord. While thereby increasing our own confidence in her, this consideration will teach us what we ourselves must do if we wish to merit the esteem of the most Holy Trinity.
St. Anne is most dear to the Heavenly Father, because she so greatly loved Our Savior. For JESUS Himself has said: "He who loveth me shall be loved by my Father." Perhaps devout soul, you will say: "How could she love JESUS, if, as many believe, she never knew him, having died before his birth?" But, you must remember, faith in the promised Redeemer, including a desire for his coming, and, consequently, love of Him, was a devotion much practiced by the Saints of the Old Testament. It was that of Moses, of whom St. Paul has said that "he chose rather to be afflicted with the people of God, than to have the pleasure of sin for a time." In the Psalms, one might almost say that the holy king David sang only of the sufferings and glory of JESUS-CHRIST. Isaias spoke in such unmistakable terms of the Passion of Our Savior, that he has been called the fifth Evangelist. The aged Simeon and Anna the prophetess were continually fasting and praying in preparation for his coming. Who can doubt that the two Saints who were destined to become the parents of the Mother of CHRIST equaled, if they did not surpass, all the just of the Old Law in this respect? St. Joachim and St. Anne assiduously studied what was said by the Psalmist and the Prophets concerning the loving abasement of the Son of God; and by this recital their hearts were inflamed even as those of the Saints of the New Testament were inflamed by reading the Gospel. Like all the just of those days, they were burning with the desire of at length seeing the Lord Christ; at times they would address the Eternal Father with David, saying to Him: "Lord, show us. thy mercy and give us the promised Savior;" at times they would address the Son of God Himself, exclaiming with Isaias: "O that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down; the mountains would melt away at Thy presence." They would melt as at the burning of fire; the waters would burn with fire. — Our two Saints well knew that although the birth of the Redeemer had been promised to Abraham and to David, yet God desired that this coming of the Messiah should be in answer to the prayers of the just, and therefore they persevered in fasting, watching, praying and giving alms. It is quite allowable, therefore, to believe that the Father and Mother of Mary were surpassed by none of the Saints of the Old Dispensation in their ardent love of JESUS-CHRIST; and that thereby they merited being chosen from among all others for giving Him to the world by means of their Daughter and, as we desire to prove, they thus gained a high place in the favor of our Heavenly Father. To these holy spouses then may be applied what JESUS said to the Apostles: "In that day you shall ask in my name, and I say not to you that I will ask the Father for you; for the Father Himself loveth you, because you have loved me." That is to say that in consideration of the love which they bore to JESUS, they can without difficulty obtain whatsoever they ask in our favor.
Here then there is not only a powerful motive for confidence in our beloved patroness, but also a great lesson to be learned. At times we complain that we do not perceive that our prayers take effect. Let us strive ardently to love Christ: let us take delight in meditating on His Passion during the Holy Sacrifice, while making the Way of the Cross, when ever we have the happiness of receiving Him at the Holy Table, whenever we say our beads. By this means we shall make ourselves very agreeable in God’s eyes and, so to speak, force Him to listen favorably to our prayers.
From the records of the Shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre.
On Sunday morning, June 28th, 1885, the steamer Canada arrived at St. Anne de Beaupre with a pilgrimage from the parish of St. John the Baptist, Montreal. Among the pilgrims was Georgiana Tremblay, the niece of the parish-priest of St. John, who had been carried on board as she was quite unable to walk on account of her lower limbs having become paralyzed after an attack of typhoid fever.
After receiving Holy Communion, the young girl found herself much relieved and able to sit up. Immediately after Mass, she told her father that she could walk, for she felt she had been cured. The priest announced the miracle to the assembled multitude who pressed around the child manifesting their joy by tears and sobs. The young girl walked from the altar rail to one of the furthest pews of the church, and shortly afterwards returned to the altar rail quite unassisted, in order to show how completely she had been cured.
August Mother of Mary, would that I could love JESUS with my whole heart, even as thou lovest Him. All the treasures of this world are as nothing in comparison with such a love. He, indeed, has done every thing to gain my love, but my heart is so filled with worldly attachments and anxieties that divine love can find no place therein. My sweet protectress, do thou obtain for me a pure heart in which no created things can find a place; obtain for me habitual recollection, the spirit of prayer and a perpetual remembrance of the benefits conferred on me by my Savior, His loving abasement, His sufferings, His loving care of my soul. And since thy blessed Daughter Mary has been entrusted by Our Lord with the glorious task of distributing to souls that precious liquor of divine love, do thou beg of her to pour a large measure of it into my heart, so that intoxicated by this heavenly drought, I may forget all things, myself included, and no longer think of aught but my loving JESUS who is so worthy of all my love.
Good St. Anne, obtain for me an ardent and pure love for JESUS-CHRIST.
Since in the love of Our Lord JESUS-CHRIST is comprised all Christian holiness, let us strive to acquire that love by employing the means here pointed out, and let us daily ask this grace through the intercession of St. Joachim and St. Anne.