St Anna and her son John
Taken as an orphan into the house of a nobleman and treated as an adopted child, she was cared for and educated in that house. The rich man considered her worthy to be married to his son. When the old man died, the family urged the son to put his wife away because of her low birth and to marry another more suited to his rank and wealth. The rich man's son feared God and did not want to do this. Seeing her husband in difficulties with his family, Anna secretly left him and ran off to a distant island where there was not a living soul. She was pregnant, and soon gave birth to a son. They laboured on the island for thirty years in fasting and prayer. Then, by divine providence, a hieromonk landed on the island. He baptised her son and named him John. Anna lived her ascetic life in the fifth century, and died peacefully.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
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