I've found this prayer at the end of Copie Bullarum Concilij
Basiliensis et Pape Sixti quarti in materiam Conceptionis
beatissime marie virginis Vnacum duabus oratiunculis Sixti Pape
quarti & Alexandri pape sexti de eadem Conceptione ad Mariam
Virginem & sanctam Annam Pluribus indulgentijs dotatis [woodcut
of Virgin, Child, and St Anne]. The colophon reads merely
`Impressum Heidelberge'; the Bodleian Library catalogue says `c.
1500'. It contains the 1439 declaration of the Council of Basle
(then in schism and so not binding) and Sixtus' bull Cum
praeexcelsa of 1477 approving Leonardo Nogarola's Office of the
Immaculate Conception (which Sixtus prudently refers to as the
conception of the immaculate Virgin--not that it helped matters

The two prayers at the end are `Ave sanctissima Maria mater dei
regina celi . . .' attributed to Sixtus IV, `quam tam magnas
dedit indulgentias videlicet undecim milia annorum' and the one
to St Anne, with the rubric `Alexander Papa sextus concessit
decem milia annorum pro mortalibus Et viginti pro venialibus
dicenti hanc sequentem Oracionem trina vice coram ymagine
beatissime virginis Marie & Anne Matris eius':

Ave Maria Gracia plena Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedicta sit Anna mater tua
Ex qua sine macula & peccato processisti virgo Maria
Ex te autem natus est hiesus cristus filius dei vivi. Amen

The prayer attributed to Sixtus turns up in many books of hours,
usually with the instruction to say it before an image of the
Virgin; there are also woodcuts with image, prayer, and
indulgence. Finding any official proclamation of indulgences for
prayers is hopeless, I think (I'd certainly like to know if
anyone on the list has tracked any down). At most, I suppose, the
pope might, if petitioned in person, have waved his hand and said
`sure'. I doubt that any particular image of St Anne was

Bonnie Blackburn
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