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Anna at the presentation of Jesus (right), from Giotto, Chapel of Scrovegni.

Anna (Hebrew: חַנָּה‎, Ancient Greek: Ἄννα) or Anna the Prophetess was a biblical figure mentioned only in the Gospel of Luke. According to that Gospel, she was an aged Jewish prophetess who prophesied about Jesus at the Temple of Jerusalem. She appears in Luke 2:36-38 in the episode of the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

While Luke gave some elements, Anna's life and background are obscure. From the three verses in Luke, the following is known of Anna:

  • She was a prophetess.
  • She was a daughter of Phanuel.
  • She was a member of the tribe of Asher.
  • She was widowed after seven years of marriage (her husband is not named).
  • She was a devout Jew who regularly practiced prayer and fasting.


TheRoman Catholic Church[1] and Eastern Orthodox Church commemorate Anna as a saint, Anna the Prophetess. The Eastern Orthodox Church consider Anna and Simeon the God-Receiver as the last prophets of Old Testament and observes their feast on February 3/February 16 as the synaxis (afterfeast) following the Presentation of Christ, which Orthodox tradition calls "The Meeting of Our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ"[2].

Also her figure is drawn in the icons of the Presentation of Christ, together with the Holy Child and the Virgin Mary, Joseph and Simeon the God-Receiver. Orthodox tradition considers that Christ met his people, Israel, in the persons of those two, Simeon and Anna[3]. Anna is often placed behind Mary. Anna either raises her hands to Christ, to show people him as Christ, or hands a scroll which is attributed often to prophets in Orthodox iconography.


External links

bo:ལུང་སྟོན་མ་ཨན་ནཱ། mt:Anna Profetessa ja:アンナ (預言者) ru:Анна Пророчица (Новый Завет) wo:Aana zh:女先知亚拿