Anna the Prophetess

“Anna the Prophetess”
Luke 2:36-40 “in a snailshell” 
The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Luke 2:36-40
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
Patterned on the icon by Theophanes of Crete (1546), Stavronikita Monastery, Mount Athos.

Advanced in years but childlike in spirit, Anna the prophetess recognized her Savior in the Infant Christ while worshipping in the temple. Purified by fasting and prayer, the eyes of her spirit penetrated beyond exterior flesh to the very person of the Son of God. The wise Anna is often portrayed in icons holding a scroll as a symbol of her prophetic role. The Child Jesus sits like a king upon a throne in the arms of Simeon, his own arm extended in a gesture of pardon, mercy and blessing toward the progeny of Adam whom he came to redeem. 

At the Lord’s birth the choirs of angels sang: Blessed be our God enthroned as King and blessed be the Lamb.

Liturgy of the Hours, Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas,
Benedictus Antiphon

2 Replies to “Anna the Prophetess”

  1. Dear GMC, thank you for your faith-filled reflection. It reminds me of of this Franciscan prayer: St. Anna the Prophetess, please pray for us. Ask God to give us the perseverance,
    the desire to pray, and the hope in God that you had. Ask God that we may also recognize our God moments, and give thanks. Your reflection, GMC, is a God moment. Thank you.

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