Sometimes God places us in unpredictable and confusing situations. Blessed with the sacrament of marriage at young age, Hannah had no idea that she would experience trouble conceiving. As one of the select handful of saints featured in the Bible, Hannah’s story is one of true faith and devotion to God.
After being married to Elkanah, the couple soon learned that Hannah was unable to bear children. As result, Elkanah took a second wife named Peninnah. Peninnah and Elkanah had several children together. Despite his relations with Peninnah, Elkanah remained devoted to Hannah. One day, Hannah became so upset over her inability to conceive a child that she began to pray and weep openly, begging God to give her a child. She vowed that if God gifted her with a son that she would ensure her son dedicated his life to God’s work.
Sure enough, Hannah soon conceived a son whom she named Samuel, which literally translates to “God Heard.” Samuel would become the high priest who would crown both King Saul and Kind David, who contributed greatly to the narrative of Christianity.
Saint Hannah with her son, Samuel
Saint Hannah continues to be the patron saint of married couples without children, and couples who struggle with infertility. While miracles like hers are rare, Hannah’s story reminds us yet again of the awesome and all-powerful will of God. His plan is far more than we can ever comprehend, and His timing is always perfect. If you find yourself in a similar situation as Hannah, or in an equally difficult situation, turn to her example of complete openness and dependence on God. Take a look at Hannah’s prayer below. Instead of praying it exactly, insert your own name, your own intentions, and your own desires. God may surprise you with His answer.
“O Lord of hosts, if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child I will give him to the Lord …” (1 Samuel 1:11)
Post written by Katie Karpinski