St. Elizabeth

Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, "were righteous in the eyes of God," the Bible tells us, "but they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years" (Lk 1:6-7). When an angel told Zechariah his wife would conceive, he didn't believe it! But their son became the great saint and last of the prophets, John the Baptist.

St. Anne

Scripture tells little about Our Lady's parents, but tradition holds that, like their relatives Elizabeth and Zechariah, they waited many years before conceiving a baby. That little one, of course, turned out to be the holiest woman who's ever lived.

Hannah

After years of waiting, Hannah promises to consecrate to God any child she is given: "O Lord of hosts ... if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life" (1 Sam 1:12). Countless couples have sympathized with her heartfelt prayer through the centuries. She eventually gave birth to Samuel, a great and holy prophet.

Sarah

The patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah waited so many decades to conceive that, when they heard from God that they were to have a child, both of them laughed. Fittingly, they named that baby Isaac, meaning "He laughs."

St. Gianna Beretta Molla

St. Gianna didn't meet her husband and marry until age 33, and had her first child at 34, which was relatively late in life for the era. She would go on to become a sympathetic patron for anyone who has waited a while to meet their future spouse and start a family.