do you know any common symbols for Persephone that aren't pomegranates?
Yes! Stalks of grain, torches, chickens, balls, small chests, kalathos (chest for flowers or wool), phiale (libartion bowl), and flowers. Also, sometimes mirrors and the sceptre. She is usually depicted with jewels as well.
The stalk of grain was a panhellenic symbol of Persephone. All of her symbols are associated to fertility and/or funerary aspects.
Here a Locri pinake showing Persephone and Hades enthroned. She has a chicken and stalk of grain, while Hades holds a phiale and a blooming twig (maybe an asphodel). (source)
Here Persephone depiction from a vase painting, she is at the underworld palace holding her torch. (source)
And another Locri pinake, where we see a mirror, a pomegranate and a chest. (source)
(Information main source: Theoi.com, and “Persephone and Aphrodite at Locri: A model for personality definitions in Greek religion” by Christiane sourvinou-Inwood).
Saint Anne - Feast Day: July 26th - Both Calendars
Prayers to Saint Anne
Good St. Anne, you were especially favored by God to be the mother of the most holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Savior. By your power with your most pure daughter and with her divine Son, kindly obtain for us the grace and the favor we now seek. Please secure for us also forgiveness of our past sins, the strength to perform faithfully our daily duties and the help we need to persevere in the love of Jesus and Mary. Amen.
Franciscan Mission Prayers
We thank you, dear St. Anne for the favors, known and unknown, you have obtained for us. Assured of your constant love, we bring our special needs to you… (Here mention your requests). Mother of the Mother of the eternal Word made flesh, kindly recommend to your Grandson, Jesus, these intentions we lift to you in confident prayer. Amen.
Parents’ Prayer to St. Anne:
We call upon you, dear St. Anne, for help in bringing up our family in good and Godly ways, Teach us to trust God our Father as we rear the precious heritage entrusted to us. May His will prevail in our lives and His providence defend us, these blessings we ask for all families in our neighborhood, our country, and our world. Amen.
Children’s Prayer to St. Anne:
Good St. Anne, you must have loved your parents just like we love Mom and Dad. They love us so much and take care of all our needs. Help us to make them happy every day. Thank you, dear Grandmother of Jesus, for listening to our prayer. Amen.
Teenagers’ Prayer to St. Anne:
Dear St. Anne, Mother of the Mother of God - become human, please bless our parents who said “yes” to life. Warm our hearts with love for them. May we give them every reason for joy, not distress. Into your hands we commit our future. Teach us to say “yes” to God’s plan for us in all the years ahead. Amen.
Significant Events in the Life of St. Anne
The name Anne (also Ann or Anna) from Hebrew Hannah meaning “favor” or “grace” of David’s house and line, was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ. Anne is the Greek rendering of her Hebrew name Hannah.
St. Anne 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, they had no children. Once Joachim overheard ridicule because of their childless state. He went into the desert to plead with God to give them a child. After a time of fasting, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him, assuring Joachim that they would be given a child and that they were to name her Mary and dedicate her to God.
Meanwhile, St. Anne, not knowing Joachim’s whereabouts, also prayed to God as she watched newborn birds in their nests in her garden. She cried out, “why was I born, Lord?” That is when the Angel appeared to tell her she would soon give birth to a daughter and she was to name her Mary. Both Anne and Joachim were shortly reunited at the golden gate of Jerusalem. After her birth, Mary was dedicated to God at the temple of Jerusalem where she spent much of her childhood. When Mary was fourteen, her parents betrothed her to Joseph of Nazareth. Mary’s story continues with the birth of Jesus, and his life on earth.
Dignity and Sanctity of St. Anne
“To St. Anne, God has given the power to aid in every necessity, because Jesus, her Divine Grandchild according to the flesh, will refuse her no petition, and Mary, her glorious daughter, supports her every request. Those who venerate good St. Anne shall want for nothing, either in this life or in the next……” Abbot Trithemius
How holy must have been the woman in whom the great mystery of the Immaculate Conception was accomplished. How holy the womb into which the fullness of grace descended, in which the child “full of grace” was conceived and took flesh. How great is the dignity of St. Anne, whose child, by a special perogative, from the first instant of her conception was preserved from all taint of sin. Holy was the root from which sprouted the tree that bore the holiest Fruit, Jesus. St. Anne’s sanctity was increased still more through this wonderful conception; and how highly must she have been sanctified who bore the Mother of God. As St. Jerome said: “Anne is the glorious tree from which bloomed a twig under divine influence. She is the sublime heaven from whose heights the Star of the Sea neared its rising. She is the blessed barren woman, happy mother among mothers, from whose pure womb came forth the shining temple of God, the sanctuary of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of God.”
Even her name “Anne”: signifies “gracious loving” and typifies her sublime destiny. She too had been chosen by God from eternity, and to her, as to Mary, may be applied the words: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His ways….I was set up from eternity.” (Prov. 8:22-23). God prepared St. Anne with magnificent gifts and graces. She may be compared to St. Joseph of whom St. Bernardine of Sienna wrote: “In the kingdom of grace the universal rule is: If God elects anyone for a special privilege and a sublime state, He bestows on that person all the gifts necessary for his state and adornment.”
In her book, The Mystical City of God, Mary of Agreda writes that St. Anne was the most chaste of virgins. She says: “From her very childhood, she possessed the fullness of every virtue. She was continually engaged in devout meditation. Her unceasing prayer was that the Redeemer might come soon.”
As the works of God are perfect, it was natural to expect that He should make St. Anne a worthy mother of that pure creature who was superior in sanctity to all creatures and inferior only to God. Had St. Anne not been adorned with angelic purity, she could not have become the mother of the Virgin of virgins. The great miracle of Mary’s Immaculate Conception fittingly took place in St. Anne’s pure womb.
Veneration of St. Anne
Baronius, a celebrated ecclesiastical writer, says: “Veneration of St. Anne is as ancient as the Church itself. In the East and in the West, she has been venerated from the beginning.” It is related that the Apostles themselves transformed St. Anne’s dwelling at Jerusalem into a Church. She is one of the most popular Saints of Holy Church because of the plenitude of her virtues, the height of her exalted dignity and her close relationship with the holiest of all persons, Jesus and Mary.
After St, Joseph, no Saint enjoys such widespread veneration as good St. Anne. It would be impossible to enumerate the churches and chapels dedicated in her honor, and, over the course of centuries, the manifold favors that have been granted and astounding miracles wrought. The number of churches having an altar or image in her honor is constantly increasing. Love and veneration of the faithful for St. Anne is manifested in a practical way by giving the name “Anne” to girls in baptism. Certainly, after the name of Mary, none is more beautiful. Frequently the two names, Mary and Anne, are combined.