Franciscan Saints




 26th April



The Servant of God Anna of the Holy Cross


Widow, Second Order



The eldest daughter of the duke of Arcos, born in affluent Andulasia;  in 1527, on the same date in 326, (May 3rd) when,  Helen, the mother of Constantine had discovered the True Cross. 1 So, it is said that being born on this day fitted Anna to choose the better part.

From an early age Anna embraced both the joys and crosses of life, her lifetime spiritual director was John of Avila.

At aged sixteen Anna married the noble and pious count of Feria, Peter, marquis of Priego and for the first three years of married life Anna was able to continue her former spiritual practices uninterruptedly because her husband was absent on a campaign with the Emperor Charles V. When he returned the pair supported each other in the true service of God as Christian spouses ought to do.

Anna loved the poor and cared for them with her own hands and often sold her jewellery in order to have money for their support.

The beginning of her way of the cross began with the birth of her son, when after holy Baptism the Lord revealed to Anna that he would soon die. The child died as few days later.

A few years later her husband fell ill and during the three years that his suffering lasted Anna never removed her clothes off so that she could always be present with him.

The Venerable Louis of Grenada, confessor to the duke, assisted him at his death and with his last breath the duke kissed the crucifix then the confessor passed the crucifix to Anna who also kissed it fervently and said “ From now on, he shall be my only spouse.”

Anna was now 24 years of age and thought only of consecrating her life to God within the walls of the convent of the Poor Clares however she was in poor health and was not well enough to do so. Remaining with her mother-in-law she wished to make a vow of obedience to her Father Confessor but Master Avila did not think this prudent and therefore advised Anna to make her vow to her mother-in-law. This Anna did and ever afterward sought her mother-in-law’s permission for even the slightest little thing.

Over the years Anna’s health improved as her desire for convent life increased and her Father Confessor and eventually her mother-in-law permitted Anna to enter the convent of the Poor Clares in Montilla, Anna was overjoyed!

Performing the lowliest tasks as though she were the servant of her sisters she observed her vow of poverty very strictly and never accepted even the smallest gift from her relatives.

Anna had great devotion and love for the Blessed Sacrament and spent many hours before the Tabernacle in the sweet exchange of sentiments with her Saviour and so she was called “the bride of the Blessed Sacrament.”

Anna’s health declined and so the cross also tested her in the convent through nearly thirty years of almost continuous illness and the many vexations from those indebted to her she practised perfect resignation to the will of God without ever complaining.

When her brother, the new duke of Arco, whom she loved dearly, died upon hearing of his death Anna took the crucifix and said: “Lord, as thou wilt: he belonged more to Thee than to me.”

Though her prayers affected many wonderful cures for others’ ailments Anna never prayed for release from her own sufferings’ finally, patient to the end She went to God on April 26th 1601.

Honoured like a saint, her cause for beatification is under consideration.

This hasn’t been granted as far as I can discover (Br. Andrew EFO.)



Prayer of the Church

(Second Sunday after Pentecost)


Grant, O Lord, that we may have a perpetual fear and love of

Thy Holy name, for Thou never ceasest to direct and govern by

Thy grace those whom Thou instructest in the solidity of Thy

love,Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen



Direct quotes: Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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Last edited 13/09/2017 10:13 
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