The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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Sources for St. Anne

Canisius | 26 July, 2007 14:48

Dom Fromage remarks (XIII,188) that "traditions which, although mingles with details of less authenticity, have come down to us from the very beginning of Christianity" concerning the parents of Mary the mother of Jesus. He is referring to the Protoevangelium of James, an apocryphal document from about the year 150 A.D.

If you have not taken the time to read this lovely story, you should. You will no doubt agree with Dom Fromage (XIII,188) that "for exquisite sentiment this narrative might be compared with the most beautiful histories in Holy Scripture." Of course, you will also notice the "details of less authenticity," which make it unclear how much history we can glean from the document.

The Church's devotion to Anne, from what I can gather in Dom Fromage's entry and today's Office of Readings, is based mostly around the fact that she was the mother of the mother of Jesus. It does not seem dependent on particular details from the Protoevangelium of James, except perhaps the custom of asking Anne's intercession when God seems to be withholding children (XIII,192). As always, though, I am inclined towards a generous judgment on pius traditions.

I should note, by the way, that the apocryphal protogospel claims to have been written by James the younger, not by that James whose feast we celebrated yesterday.


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