Since it's Monday, I've decided to tackle a particularly difficult question.
Sister, I have a question. One of my confirmation students chose St. Anne...who is the patron saint of equestrians! Why, oh why, would the mother of Mary be patron saint of people who ride horses?
I hope it's not too late for her to switch to St. Sebastian or St. Paul or St. George or St. Martin de Caballeros (crack our your Spanish I folks!) or St. Ignatius Loyola or St. Joan of Arc or somebody up there who actually had something to do with one horse, any horse, at any time.
I have looked high and low for an answer and I cannot find one sentence anywhere that contains the word "horse" where St. Anne is concerned, save to to say that she is that patron saint of equestrians.
Often saints are patron saints of something by some sort of extrapolation. St. Sebastian, for example, is the patron saint of pin makers because he was shot full of arrows. I'll admit it's a stretch, but pin makers need a patron saint. They'd be better off with Anne, since she was a seamstress. We should swap out Anne for Sebastian, since Sebastian was a soldier and probably was around a lot of horses all the time. I'm certain he has horses or equestrians on his official list. He has a long list.
The truth is, we don't even know what St. Anne's name really was, or if she ever sewed a stitch or ever even touched a horse in her life. St. Anne is not mentioned at all in the revealed Word of God known as the New Testament.
Everything we think about St. Anne is found in the Gospel of St. James, which is not the revealed Word of God at all. It was, in fact, officially tossed out of consideration of any kind in the 4th century at the Council of Nicaea. (think Nicene Creed)
Here is what we actually know about St. Anne: Mary had a mother who had a name.
Here is what we don't know about St. Anne: anything.
I believe I've talked about this before. But there is more to the story. The legend continues that Lazarus (back from the dead) and his two sisters and Mary Magdelene rowed to France (like Charles Bronson at the end of The Great Escape). It seems they had the remains of St. Anne with them. The remains were put in a nice crypt and everything was just fine until barbarians came along. So the bishop there took the remains and buried them so thoroughly that no one could ever find them for years and years, try as they might.
Charlamange decided to make a real effort to fine them but failed, until a blind, deaf and dumb boy suddenly showed them the way. It is quite a dramatic story, the boy being so agitated with his staff and everyone following him and having to dig and find one door and dig some more and find another, until they found a long bured door with a beautiful crypt that says, "Here lies the body of St. Anne the mother of the Virgin Mary." Or something to that effect.
She's not there anymore, because in true Catholic fashion, she has been sent, in pieces, to quite a number of places. Several places, I believe, claim to have her head, and they are not even on the same continent.
I imagine Charlamange road in on a horse. There's your horse.
Or....at some point in time, as forgotten as the location of that crypt, St. Anne performed a miracle that involved a horse or horsemen or women.
Or...and I have a terrible feeling this is what actually happened: Lady Godiva rode her horse through St. Anne's Square.
Seriously, St. Martin de Caballeros didn't make the top of the list for your Confirmation student? He's always on a horse. Hence the name. He is also known as St. Martin de Tours. Did no one point her towards Joan of Arc? I pretty sure she rode a bit.