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Another, again,1 makes Anna, daughter of Meurig ab Tewdrig, the wife of Amwn, and the same says that the wife of Cynyr was Anna, daughter of Gwrthefyr Fendigaid, or Vortimer.2
The Life of S. Samson says only that Anna, the wife of Amwn, was "of the province of Dementia (al. Deventia) which adjoins that of Demetia." The Vita 2d" (of S. Samson) says " de Vcenetia provincia," and the Vita 3'" gives this name as "Methiana."
It is clear that there has been confusion between three Annas, and that Cynyr's father married Anna, daughter of Uthyr, and that Cynyr married another Anna, daughter of Vortimer. Whereas Amwn married a different Anna, the daughter of Meurig, and some of her sisters were the wives of the brothers of Amwn.
What we know of the second Anne is derived from the lives of S. Samson, and our best authority is the First Life, written in the seventh century, published by Mabillon (Acta SS. Ord. S. Benedicti., Scec., i, p. 165), and by the Bollandists (July 6). Afrella was a younger sister, and was married to Umbrafel, brother of Amwn the Black. She was the mother of three sons, born before Anne had any child. Amwn and his wife were in sore trouble at being without offspring. But one day, when in church, they heard a discourse upon the merits and powers of a certain scholar (librarius) in the North, to whom great numbers resorted. So Amwn and his wife started to consult him, with presents in their hands, just as now Hindoos might journey to some famous fakir. After a toilsome bit of travel they reached the place where the renowned man was, and found him in the midst of a throng of suppliants, some deriving healing, some requiring discovery of objects that had been lost, some benedictions on a new undertaking, some a forcible curse pronounced against an enemy. They told the great man that they desired to have a son, whereupon the " Librarius " advised Amwn to make a rod of silver as tall as his wife, and give it as alms for his soul and for that of Anna. Amwn promptly declared that he would give three such rods. The medicine man then bade them retire into his "hospitium." These rods of metal of a man's height meet us again in the legend of S. Brioc ; and should apparently be brought into connection with the stones, each set up pro anima sua, which are found in Celtic countries.
In course of time Anne bore a son, and he was named Samson. From his birth, Anne urged her husband to dedicate him to the Lord —at least so says the " Life "—but this seems to be an adaptation of the story of Hannah and the child Samuel. Amwn was unwilling to consent. Having got a son, he resolved on keeping him, but his reluctance was overcome when other children followed.
1 Iolo MSS., p. 132. 2 Ibid., p. 129.
VOL. I. M
That Samson was a child of their old age is improbable; the statement is an importation from the history of the birth of the Biblical Samson. For his education, Samson was entrusted to S. Illtyd, and he remained at college till Amwn was very ill, and sent for his son.
Amwn recovered, and at the instigation of Samson both he and his brother Umbrafel were tonsured; and their respective wives, Anna and Afrella, received consecration as widows. Samson then dismissed the two latter into different parts to found monasteries and to build chui ches.
His mother was especially fervent in accepting his commission. She is reported to have answered: "Not only do I desire, and lovingly embrace the charge laid on me, but I require of Almighty God, to Whom you have dedicated me, that you shall consecrate the monasteries and churches you bid me construct."
To this Samson cheerfully consented. As to his father and uncle, he found them a little rough and intractable, therefore he took them away with him, so as to superintend their training.
Samson next determined on seeking "a vast desert" near the Severn. There he remained awhile, till he was consecrated bishop, when he resolved on quitting Wales. He took his course round the Bristol Channel,1 visiting his mother and aunt on the way and dedicating their churches. That of S. Anne was probably Oxenhall, on a confluent of the Severn. It is now in Gloucestershire. We know nothing further about Anne, whether she ended her days in her native land, or followed her son into Cornwall, and further into Brittany. Nor have we any means of determining the day of commemoration of S. Anne.
The cult of Anne, reputed mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, came into fashion at the beginning of the fifteenth century. It was almost unknown till the fifteenth century, when she was brought into prominence by the mooting of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. The name Anne is taken from an Apocryphal Gospel, the Protevangelium of S. James, of no authority whatever. The earliest known representation of S. Anne, mother of the Blessed Virgin, in Northern Europe, is on a seal of 1351 belonging to a convent in Westphalia.2
1 "Citra Sabrinum mare," Vita i"*; "circa Habrinum mare," Vita 2<t".
* Vincens (Ch.), De I'iconographie de S. Anne, Paris, Chaix, 1892. Schmitz, "Die Anna-Bilder," in der Katholik, tome vii (1893). Schaumkell (E.), Der Cult der H. Anna, Freiburg-im-Baden, Mohr, 1893; Acta SS., Jul., tome vii, PP- 233-9
The cult of this S. Anne was at first confined to the east. The first mention of her outside of Syria and Jerusalem is at Constantinople, where, according to Procopius,1 in the middle of the sixth century, Justinian erected a church in her honour. This was restored by Justinian II a century and a half later.2
The earliest trace of her cult in Rome is in a fresco in the Capella Palatina, supposed by Mr. G. J. Turner to have been placed there by Pope Constantine, a Syrian by birth, after a visit made to Constantinople in 709.3
At the close of the ninth century appeared an Encomium on SS. Joachim and Anna, from the pen of Cosmas Vestitor. George of Nicomedia spoke her praises, so did Peter of Argos.
The first occurrence of S. Anne in a liturgical document is in a tenth century Sacramentary, "undoubtedly of Roman origin, and was probably written for some Greek monks in Rome; in its Holy Saturday litany the first two names after the confessors are S. Anne and S. Elizabeth, who have precedence even before all the Roman virgin martyrs." 4
But the veneration of S. Anne, thus introduced, was confined to Rome. In or about 800, however, her body was supposed to have been discovered in a cave at Apt, and the elevation took place in the presence of Charlemagne.
No trace of any cult can be found in England till the marriage of our Richard II with Anne of Bohemia, when the name spread, and by a rescript of Pope Urban VI, dated June 21, 1381, the veneration of the Mother of Our Lady was ordered to be introduced; the command was forwarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the bishops under his metropolitan jurisdiction.5 S. Anne is, however, found inserted in the Exeter Martyrology of 1337, drawn up by Bishop Grandisson, the friend of John XXII. Whilst staying with the Pope at Avignon, he had doubtless heard of the devotion to her relics at Apt, near by.
After 1381 S. Anne became a popular saint, and churches having earlier dedications were rededicated to her in the fifteenth century. And thenceforth her name appears in Calendars, previously it was conspicuously absent from them.
Among hymns in honour of S. Anne none date from an earlier period than the thirteenth or fourteenth century. In France there was a Brotherhood of S. Anne in the thirteenth century.
1 Be adificiis Justiniani, i, 3; iii, 185; in the Corpus Scriptorum Historic Byzantina, Bonn, 1838.
2 Bandurius, Imperium Occidentale, ii, 656-7; Du Cange, Constantinopolis Christiana, lib. IV, vii, 4, p. 143.
3 "The Introduction of the Cultus of S. Anne into the West," in The English Historical Review, xviii (1903), pp. 109-11. 4 Ibid., p. i11.
3 B. Brantyngham's Register, ed. Hingeston-Randolph, 1901, p. 497.
Nevertheless there was no great extension of the cult till the period just before the Reformation. Trithemius in his work, De Laudibus S. Anna, which appeared in 1494, speaks of her memory as ditt neglecta. Valerius Anselm, in his Chronicle, under the year 1508 says that till about that date Anne was little thought about; and Trithemius speaks of the cult as quasi novum. Luther in his violent fashion exclaimed," How old is this idol, S. Anne? Where was she till some ten, twelve, forty years ago?" and again, "We Germans have been always inventing new saints and helpers in need, as is the case of SS. Anne and Joachim, novelties not over thirty years old." l
The day of S. Anne, mother of the B.V.M., is July 26.
At Whitstone in Cornwall, where there is not only a church, but also a Holy Well of S. Anne, the parish feast is on Easter Day. The way in which S. Anne in Brittany has stepped into the place of one of the Bonae Dea:, tutelary earth goddesses, and themselves representing the Celtic or pre-Celtic Ane, mother of the gods,2 may be judged from the illustrations we give. The first represents a statue of a Bona Dea of the Gallo-Romano period found at Rennes; the second is an image above the Porte S. Malo at Dinan, representing S. Anne, bearing on one arm the Blessed Virgin Mary, on the other Christ.
The genealogies of Coel Godebog,3 of Rhodri the Great,4 king of all Wales, consequently of all the royal families of Gwynedd, Powys and Dyfed, also of S. Beuno,5 S. David,6 and S. Catwg,7 are traced
1 Schaumkell, Der Cult d. H. Anna, 1893.
2 Cormac (b. 831, d. 903), "Ana is mater deorum hibernensium, well she used to nourish the gods, from whose name is said anae, i.e. abundance, and from whose name are called the Two Paps of Ana, west of Luchair (County Kerry), also Bu-anann, nurse of the heroes ... as Ann was mother of the gods, so Buanann was mother of the Fiann." \V. Stokes. Three Irish Glossaries. London, 1862, pp. xxxiii, 2, 5.
3 Harl.MS. 3859. A genealogy drawn up in the tenth century, but the MS. of late eleventh or early twelfth century.
4 Ibid. The genealogy is traced up to Aballac, the son of Amalech, "qui fuit Beli Magni filius et Anna mater ejus quam dicunt esse consobrina Maris Virginis Matris D'ni n'ri Ili'u Xp'i." Y Cymmrodor, ix, p. 170.
5 Cambro-British Saints, p. 21. Traced to " Belinus the son of Anna, who was cousin to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ."
* Ibid., pp. 102, 144. Traced to a " son of the sister of Mary." 7 Jesus Coll., Oxford, MS. 20, early fifteenth century. S. Catwg's pedigree is traced back to Caswallon " the son of Beli the Great, the son of Anna. This Anna was a daughter of a Roman Emperor, and said by the men of Egypt to have been first cousin to the Virgin Mary." In the Cognatio of Brychan Brycheiniog, his mother's ancestry is traced up to a certain "Annhun rex Grecorum " (Cambro-British Saints, p. 273). In the above noted Jesus Coll. MS. 20. he appears as "Annwn du vrenhin groec." (Y Cymmrodor, viii, p. 83.)