Anna ((Joachims’s Wife) sang two elegies, and uttered a double lament: “I will weep for my widowhood and wail for my barrenness.” For because she had heard nothing of what had become of Joachim, she complained to God, and in tears did she plead, “Oh Lord, Great and Powerful God of
Israel, You have given me no children; why have You taken my husband as well? Behold, it has been five months since I have seen him, and I have no idea where he might be. If I knew that he were dead, I could at least bury him.” Then she entered into the courtyard of his house in the depth of her sorrow, fell to her face and prayed, pouring forth her requests to the Lord. And afterward, even though she felt dejected, Anna got up from her
prayers, took off her mourning clothes, washed her hair, and put on her wedding garments. At about the ninth hour, she went for a walk in her garden and saw a laurel tree there. And sitting down beneath it, she begged the Lord, “Oh God of Our Fathers, hearken to my prayer and bless me even as You blessed the womb of Sarah and graced her with her son Isaac.” Then Anna looked into the sky and sighed. And noticing a nest of sparrows in that laurel tree, she sang the following elegy: Poor little me! Who gave me life? What womb brought me forth? For I was born only to be cursed before the people
Even the sons of Israel. And I was censured; they ridiculed me And threw me out of the Lord’s temple. Poor little me! With what am I to be compared?
I am not to be compared with the birds of the sky, Because, oh my Lord, even the birds of the sky produce for You. Poor little me! With what am I to be compared? I am not to be compared with the speechless beasts, Because, oh my Lord, even the speechless beasts produce for You. Poor little me! With what am I to be compared? I am not to be compared with the earth’s wild animals, Because, oh my Lord, Even the wild animals of the earth produce for You. Poor little me! With what am I to be compared? I am not to be compared with these waters, Because, oh my Lord, even these waters produce for You. Poor little me! With what am I to be compared? I am not to be compared with this earth, Because even this earth is productive in its season
And praises You, oh my Lord.” And she spoke sorrowfully saying, “Lord God Almighty, the One Who has given posterity to all living things; every creature, be they either tame or wild; to serpents, birds, and fish as well, that they might all take pleasure in their young. Only I am deprived of Your generous gift. But You, dear God, know that from my wedding day, I promised in my heart that if ever You gave me a son or a daughter, I would give
them back to You, to serve You in Your sacred temple.” AN ANGEL APPEARS TO ANNA And behold, even as she was saying all this, one of God’s angels suddenly appeared to her and said, “Anna, Anna, do not be afraid! Do not think that what you see is some delusion, for I am the angel who
has presented your petitions and charitable donations in the presence of God. The Lord God has heard your plea and ordained seed for you. You will conceive and give birth, and your child’s name will be the talk of the whole earth. All generations will marvel at what you are to bear; even until the end of the age.” “As my Lord is the Living God,” Anna replied, “if a child is given to me, be it either a boy or a girl, I will give it to the Lord my God, and it will serve Him all the days of its life.” Then the angel said to her, “I have been sent to you to let you know that you are to bear a daughter. You are to name her Mary, and she will be favored above all other women. And as soon as she is born, she will exhibit qualities like those of the Lord. She will be brought up in her father’s house until the three years of her weaning run out, then she will be given to the service of the Lord. She will never set foot off the temple grounds until she reaches the age of discretion. In short, in that place she will serve the Lord, fasting and praying day and night, keeping away from every unclean thing, and never lying with a man.This will be unparalleled a virgin will give birth to a son in a pure and undefiled manner; without sleeping with a man, a young woman will bring forth the Lord, who will rescue the world through his divine nature, power, and labors.” And after he had spoken this, the angel vanished from her sight.