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
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.