Tuesday, September 30, 2008

St. Anne

People often wonder how the name "St. Anne's Hill" came to represent a neighborhood. Sadly, that tale is lost in history. The first known use of the name was found in 1830's advertisements.

However, we can still ask the question: who was St. Anne? According to Catholic tradition (with a little help from Wikipedia), St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary, who gave birth to baby Jesus.

She was known as Hannah by the Greeks, which means grace. Anne is the patron saint of women in labor and strangely, miners. Her colors are red and green, which can be found on the wooden St. Anne's Hill signs around the neighborhood.

She is especially popular amoung the French and French-speaking Quebec, according to one website, which states:

The French believed that Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, Martha, and other friends of Jesus crossed the Mediterranean Sea and landed at the southern French city of Marseilles.... According to this tradition Mary Magdalene's group brought with them the remains of Saint Ann.

According to the legend, the bishop, St Auspice, buried the body of St Ann in a cave under the church of St Mary in Apt. When barbarians invaded that area, the cave was filled with debris, almost to be forgotten until it was dug out by miners 600 years later during the reign of Charlemagne.

For the faithful, no tribute is complete without a trip to Scranton, PA to visit the Shrine of St. Ann. It is said to draw thousands of pilgrims every year. Of course, today Scranton is better know as the fictional home of television's "The Office" and Dunder-Miflin.

There are a number of other Ohio instutitions named for Anne, including St. Anne Mercy Hospital in Toledo, St. Anne Epsicopal Church in West Chester, and St. Ann Catholic School in Hamilton.

The Feast of St. Anne is July 26, which should perhaps be a day of celebration in St. Anne's Hill!

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