Our God is a God of charity, according to St. Paul; and according to St. John He is Charity. "God so loved men that He gave His only beloved Son for them," JESUS has said, and JESUS Himself assures us that He loves us even as His Father loves Him; and the proof He has given us of this love is His having laid down His life for our redemption. Our holy religion is one of charity; everything in it preaches charity: Baptism, by which the Father adopts us as His children; the Eucharist, in which the Son feeds us with His own flesh and blood; Confirmation, in which the Holy Ghost comes to dwell within us, to teach us to call God our Father and pray to Him with filial confidence, and also to be the pledge of our heavenly calling; the Holy Sacrifice, in which JESUS-CHRIST daily renews in our favor that oblation which He once made of Himself on Calvary; the teaching of the Gospel which our divine Master reduces to one simple precept, that of fraternal charity. Hence it evidently ensues that whosoever loves not his neighbor may perform the most wonderful works, may give all his fortune to the poor, may even shed his blood for the honor of God s name, and yet be not counted worthy of the name of Christian.
Need we say that charity was St. Anne’s pre-eminent virtue? How, otherwise, could she have become the Mother of her who calls herself the Advocate, the Hope, the Refuge of sinners, the Consoler of the afflicted? How could she have been found worthy to become the Grandmother of the God of charity, of Him who hath so loved us as to give, not His riches, but His own blood? To be all this, must not St, Anne’s heart have been filled, perfumed with charity? What was it that made her plead day and night for the coming of the Redeemer? Was it not her love for men and her desire of their salvation? And doubtless, it was through these very desires that she in conjunction with her holy spouse was judged worthy of giving to the world the Mother of the Redeemer. Mary was the reward of their love for their neighbor and their zeal for^the glory of God. And now that she is in Heaven, does not this good Saint continually show us how dearly she loves the members of JESUS, more especially those who put confidence in her? Who can count the number of the lame she has made to walk, the blind to whom she has restored sight, the sinners whose conversion and pardon she has obtained, the despairing to whom she has given fresh hope, the families at variance whom she has reconciled, the wives, mothers, widows she has comforted in their affliction? This power, which is attested by so many wonderful favors, has been accorded to her as a reward for her charity, and so that, now she is in glory, she may satisfy the tender and generous instincts of her heart. For God, Who in Hell punishes each sinner through the particular sin he is suffering for, in Heaven loves that the reward He bestows on His elect shall be analogous to the virtues they have practised on earth.
You, devout souls, who honor this great Saint, if you wish to be dear to her and obtain what you ask of her, you must try to resemble her in your love of your brethren. In the first place you must be on your guard against transgressing this virtue. Therefore, I. Never bear malice against any one. JESUS CHRIST has told us that we should be reconciled with those we have offended, before bringing our gifts to the altar, or else our gifts will not be accepted. St. Anne also rejects the prayers of the resentful. II. Never be envious, St. Paul says that through Baptism and Holy Communion we become members of one body ; now, one of the members ought not to grieve but to rejoice over whatever happens for good to another. Satan gave the first example of envy, and the envious being his progeny, St. Anne will not count them as her spiritual children. III. Never give scandal. The thief steals money; the assassin kills the body; those who give scandal rob the soul of grace and kill it; they render useless the blood of JESUS-CHRIST, His life, His passion, His death. How can the Grandmother of JESUS-CHRIST look on such with a favorable eye? IV. Let there be no disputes, nor squabbling, nor abuse, nor evil-speaking: all these things are in opposition with St. Anne’s beloved virtue, all these things displease her and, more or less according to their gravity, disincline her to listen to the prayers offered her.
But doing no harm to others is not sufficient, you must aid them in their needs and sorrows, according to your means, if you wish St. Anne to aid you. If you yourself are not poor, like St. Anne, you must love to give to the needy: you will thus, says JESUS-CHRIST, make to yourselves friends who will open Heaven to you and you will have the all-powerful St. Anne as your friend, mother and special providence in Heaven. Whatever your fortune or state of live may be, you can, like St. Anne, visit the sick, console the afflicted, give good advice, reconcile those estranged from one another, edify by a grave, modest, gentle, Christian deportment. By these various means you will infallibly win the good graces of your beloved Patroness and those of Mary and JESUS.
A postulant at the Novitiate of was attacked with severe hemorrhage of the lungs which led her to death’s door. The doctors having pronounced her malady to be incurable, the young lady was sent back to her family and, two days afterwards, received the last Sacraments. The mother, who was a fervent Christian and very devout to St. Anne, promised Masses, a pilgrimage to St. Anne de Beaupre and an announcement of the cure in the Annals of St. Anne, if that Saint would but obtain for her the cure of her daughter. A novena was at once commenced, and that very evening the sick person, who had had no rest for five days on account of her terrible sufferings, fell asleep about nine o’clock and only awoke the next morning, when she found herself completely cured. To the great surprise of her family, she joined them at the breakfast table.
It is to St. Anne that she owes her present great happiness of being a holy nun.
Glorious St. Anne, how canst thou be otherwise than overflowing with tenderness towards poor sinners like myself, since thou art the Grandmother of Him Who shed His blood for them, and the Mother of Her whom the Saints call the Advocate of sinners? To thee, therefore, I address my prayers with confidence, vouchsafe to recommend me to JESUS and Mary, so that at thy request, they may grant me remission of all my sins, perseverance, the love of God, charity towards all mankind, purity of body and soul and the special grace (here name it) of which I stand in need at this present time. My powerful Protectress, let me not lose my soul, but obtain for me that through the merits of JESUS-CHRIST and the intercession of Mary, I may have the happiness of seeing them, loving them, praising them to all eternity with thee and thy blessed spouse.
St. Anne, obtain for me the grace of loving God above all and my neighbor as myself.
Examine your heart according to the above points and resolve to confess your transgressions and to change your way of living so as to conform your life to that of St. Anne.