Saint Ann was born in Bethlehem and married Joachim from Nazareth in Galilee. Joachim was a shepherd given the task of supplying the temple of Jerusalem with sheep for sacrifices.
After twenty years of marriage Ann and Joachim had no children. Once, when Joachim overheard ridicule because of their childless state, he is said to have gone into the desert to plead with God to give them a child. After a time of fasting, an angel appeared to assure Joachim he and Anne would be given a child they were to name Mary and dedicate to God.
In the meantime, Saint Ann wondered where her husband had gone and in her despair, at having been barren she prayed while she watched newborn birds in their nests in her garden. She cried out, “Why was I born, Lord?” That is when angel appeared to tell her she would soon give birth to a daughter she was to name Mary. The story continues with Ann and Joachim’s joyous reunion at the golden gate of Jerusalem.
After her birth, Ann and Joachim dedicated Mary to God at the temple of Jerusalem and she spent much of her childhood there. When Mary was fourteen they betrothed her to Joseph of Nazareth and so Mary’s story continues with the birth of her son, Jesus, and his life on earth.