Saint Anna the Prophetess was the daughter of a man named Phanuel who was of the tribe of Aser, one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. She was one of the very, very few faithful Jewish girls who believed with all her heart in the revelations of God in the Old Testament, and who awaited their fulfillment in the New Testament. Saint Anna was married when she was fourteen. She became a widow at twenty-one. She was the one in charge of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the time Mary was presented in the Temple at the age of three until she was betrothed at the age of fourteen.
Saint Anna was seventy-two years old when she first met Our Lady. She was eighty-four years old when Mary presented Jesus in the Temple. All other Jewish women in the Temple at that time ignored Jesus. Only Anna greeted Him (Luke 2:36-38). All the Jewish priests ignored Jesus. Only Simeon greeted Him and held Him in his arms, and declared while Anna was listening, “Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace.” The name Anna means grace. Mary was not only full of grace, but was companioned by grace all during her childhood.