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Peter E Adotey Addo

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The Legend of Anna The Midwife
By Peter E Adotey Addo
Sunday, December 02, 2001



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           >> View all 13





THE LEGEND OF ANNA THE MIDWIFE


Among the Ga people in Ghana ,West Africa there are still midwives who assist
at birth. There is also a legend about an ancient midwife who assisted at the birth of
Christ on the night that Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea. For this reason all
Midwives are sacred and are honored with gifts during the Christmas Season . The
legend had it that when King Herod heard about the birth of Jesus he was so worried that
he brought together to his palace his elders, historians , the chief priests, the teachers of
the law, the prophets, astronomers, and other soothsayers to confirm the rumor that he
had heard about the birth of another King and where he would be born. After long
hours of deliberations the king was informed that the baby was to be born in Bethlehem
of Judae. The king therefore sent for the local midwife of Bethlehem thinking that
natually she would be the logical person to know about the birth of a new baby.
Anna was her name and she lived in the village of Bethlehem and everyone called
her Anna the midwife. Legend had it that she was a kind and gentle woman who inherited
her profession of midwifery from her mother who inherited it from her own mother. It
was a family tradition to take care of all the women in the community. And so a few
days after the meeting in the palace about this baby Anna the Midwife was
summoned to appear before King Herod in an effort to find out what she knew about
the baby. After finding that his lawyers were not getting anywhere with Anna , Herod
said to her “In the name of God who rules Heaven and Earth tell me Woman what
happened that night?” Anna replied, “God bless you King Herod , God bless you King
Herod , and all your court. But I know very little ,nothing, except it was a strange and
peaceful night.” Then she began to relate all that she knew and this was her testimony.
“It was the Boy Achmed the errand boy at the inn, who came to get me. Being a
young boy he was very excited. I had seen him on many occasions before. Therefore, it
was not strange for Achmed to rush into my gate. Achmed was out of breath as usual
because he had been running as fast as his legs could carry him from the Inn. The Inn was
full of guests that night and there were no more available rooms. The Innkeeper was
busy taking care of all the guests while his wife, Safia took care of the preparation of
food for the guests. The Innkeeper was happy because the Inn was full of paying guests
and so at first did not see the man with the pregnant wife at the door of the Inn.. It was
apparent that they had been traveling for days. and were very tired and dusty. There was
something about them that was different although one could not say exactly what it was”.
“Anna the midwife continued ,”They looked gentle and kind, but unlike the other
guests they did not argue or complain or make demands. The Innkeeper looked at them
and said, “There is no room tonight in the Inn.” Then the strange man made an unusual
request of the innkeeper, “Sir, Innkeeper he called him look at my wife. She is heavy
with a child and we think the baby is due any moment now. Don’t you have a simple place
for us to rest from our long journey?” When the Innkeeper finally raised his head
something strange happened to him at the very moment he looked into the couples’ eyes.
As he looked into their eyes it seemed as if the innkeeper was possessed. The man
said, “Sir, my wife is Mary and my name is Joseph, the carpenter. We have been traveling
for a long time. As you can see Innkeeper, my wife is ready to have our baby.” The
Innkeeper replied, “Well Joseph the carpenter, we have no room for you and Mary due to
all the guests who are here for the census.” Joseph then said, “We are here Innkeeper
because I am of the family of our father David. My wife traveled with me and she is soon
to give birth.” Somehow, the Innkeeper’s heart was touched that night and he asked
Achmed, the errand boy to show them to the stable. Humbly and with great thanks in his
voice, Joseph said, “That is fine and may the Lord bless you Innkeeper!”
Achmed did as he was instructed and led Joseph and Mary to the stable where he
helped them to settle among the horses, goats, cows, donkeys, and the sheep. There was
also a camel with a baby since a Mother camel would never move without her baby. As
soon as they had settled in Mary became ill and Joseph asked Achmed to fetch a midwife.
This was how Achmed arrived at my door out of breath. And so King Herod I followed
Achmed with great haste through the crowded streets until we arrived at the stable at the
Inn. Upon arrival I discovered that the baby had already been born and Mary had dressed
her baby in clothes and laid him on a bed of hay. I did what I could to make them
comfortable because the night was cold”. She went on to say , “That same night some
shepherds arrived at the stable from the fields around Bethlehem and told a strange story
to all of us. while Mary listened very carefully. As I said before I know very little King
Herod, but this was their story “.
Anna went on , “They described how an angel had appeared to them and almost
frightened them, but the angel calmed their fear, by asking them not to be afraid, “Do not
be afraid.”said the Angel, “ We have some good news for you and people everywhere.
This news will make everybody happy. Tonight, this very night in Bethlehem a child has
been born for the world. His name is Jesus the Christ. Go now shepherds and you will
find him wrapped in clothes and lying in a bed of hay.” At that moment the shepherds
heard the heavens opened with music .A heavenly choir singing and as they explained it
many more angels joined them . And this was the reason they had come to the stable .
They called the baby, Jesus. And Mary and Joseph wondered how they could have
known the name Mary called the baby. They were not surprised because this was the name
the angels had told them was the name of the baby. The shepherds were not surprised but
continued to sing, “Praises to God in Heaven and Peace on Earth to everyone who
pleases God”
Anna the midwife, continued her story , “By this time a crowd had gathered and
everyone listened and was surprised.” Then the King inquired the whereabouts of the
shepherds. Anna replied, “The last time we saw them they were on their way back to their
sheep, happy, praising God and saying wonderful things because everything they had
heard was just as the angel had told them. I tell you King Herod it was a strange night
but there was a wonderful feeling in the air. When we looked at the baby it was as if one
was looking at the face of God. We were again reminded that we live with tradition, faith,
and change and hope . This ,dear King is all I know. It was a magical night, I know that
magic is not real, but this was real and incredible night and experience. The wonder of
this Holy night. God of our fathers, of Isaac and Jacob. What a wonderful night when
God’s splendor and might were manifested.”Legend had it that Herod dismissed Anna
the Midwife and called others.It was my mother who first told me this story when I was
just an infant.And every year it is told and retold. as we celebrate the beautiful miracle of
Christmas inspire of any circumstances

       Web Site: THE ANANSE CHRONICLES

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 10/7/2002
well done
Reviewed by Kone Simons 12/8/2001
Loved it.
Reviewed by E T Waldron 12/3/2001
I really enjoyed this. Thank you and have a blessed Christmas.

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