“Anne and Joachim, her husband, were both of the royal house of David. They served God continually in prayer and good works, but were looked down upon by the Jews because they were childless. At length God gave them a daughter, who was to become the mother of His own divine son. Because St. Anne devoted herself ceaselessly to educating her child in innocence and sanctity, she is patron of all Christian mothers. St. Paul says that it is by a holy exercise of their parenthood that parents are to be saved (Col. 3:18-21).”
The Lesson for today from the Mass of a Holy Woman Not a Martyr, and we hear it only a few times per year. It is the Valiant Woman passage at the conclusion of the Book of Proverbs. You won’t find that phrase in any prot bibles of course, and most Catholic bibles are even worse: The NRSVCE has it as “Capable Wife.” Good grief.
Anyway, it is an absolutely beautiful passage. The man and woman described here are models for us, for our spouse, or future spouse. Happy Feast! Could you please offer an Ave for my mother, Anne Docherty?
LESSON Prov. 31:10-31
Who shall find a valiant woman? far, and from the uttermost coasts is the price of her. The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils. She will render him good, and not evil all the days of her life. She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands. She is like the merchant’s ship, she bringeth her bread from afar. And she hath risen in the night, and given a prey to her household, and victuals to her maidens. She hath considered a field, and bought it: with the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard. She hath girded her loins with strength, and hath strengthened her arm. She hath tasted, and seen that her traffic is good: her lamp shall not be put out in the night. She hath put out her hand to strong things, and her fingers have taken hold of the spindle. She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow: for all her domestics are clothed with double garments. She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry: fine linen, and purple, is her covering. Her husband is honourable in the gates, when he sitteth among the senators of the land. She made fine linen, and sold it, and delivered a girdle to the Chanaanite. Strength and beauty are her clothing, and she shall laugh in the latter day. She hath opened her mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency is on her tongue. She hath looked well on the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle. Her children rose up, and called her blessed: her husband, and he praised her. Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her in the gates.