The couple Saints Joachim and Anna were childless in Israel at a time when this was considered a curse, and an abandonment of a blessing from God towards their family and Israel. They had lived generous and righteous lives before God and men, and yet even with prayers, had not had their hearts desire for children be fulfilled even after fifty years of marriage. Then God sent the great Archangel Gabriel to both St. Anna and St. Joachim separately to announce to them that St. Anna indeed would conceive and bear a most special child, who would be a blessing to all mankind.
In due time this announcement was fulfilled and the Most Holy Virgin Mary Theotokos was born to St. Anna, who is pictured just after having given birth to her child. The Virgin is shown in a small crib while St. Anna rests from her labors, and the midwife and attendants present look on. In response to their great joy and blessing from God, the grateful St. Anna promises that her child will be dedicated to God, and in fulfillment of that promise will bring her only child at the tender age of three to the Temple to live her life there from then on. This is a great mother’s love.