Anne (known as "Hannah" in Hebrew) was the mother of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus. She and her husband, Joachim, were childless for many years. Both of them were deeply troubled by the fact they had no offspring and Anne spent a significant amount of time praying for a child. She promised the Lord that if he answered her prayers, that she would dedicate her child's life to the Lord's service.
Anne's prayers were answered; both she and her husband were visited by an angel who told them that they would have a child together and that their offspring "shall be blessed by all the world".
St. Anne is now known as the patroness of the province of Quebec and of women in labor. Her feast day is observed on July 26.
An important religious shrine is Canada's St. Anne de Beaupré. It is located near the St. Lawrence River, about 20 miles from Quebec City. The first church on the site was built in 1658. The present-day basilica was consecrated by Cardinal Maurice Roy on July 4, 1976.
It is said that more than a million pilgrims visit this sacred site each year. It is known as a place of peace and healing. Many people are said to have been healed from a variety of afflictions during visits to the shrine. In fact, as one enters the church, one is drawn to the presence of two large stone pillars. These pillars are covered from floor to ceiling with the discarded braces, canes, and even folded wheelchairs of those who were made whole during their visit. The sight of these items is completely awe-inspiring, whether one is a member of the Roman Catholic faith or not.
The first miracle attributed to St. Anne de Beaupré occurred in 1658, when a crippled workman was healed. Shortly thereafter, a group of sailors made it safely to shore during a storm. The accounts of healing miracles attributed to the intercession of St. Anne have continued from that point right up to the present day.
Prayers to Saint Anne de Beaupre
Glorious Saint Anne, we think of you as filled with compassion for those hwo invoke you and with love for those who suffer. Heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present affiar which I commend to you under you special protection.
Deign to commend it to your daughter, our Blessed Lady, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy conclusion. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face. With you and Mary and all the saints, may I praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.
Good Saint Anne, mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray for me.
Glorious Saint Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke thee, and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at thy feet and humbly beg of thee to take the present affair which I recommend to thee under thy special protection.
Vouchsafe to recommend it to thy Daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face, and with Thee and Mary and all the Saints, praising and blessing Him to all eternity.
Families that are truly Christian love the Family of Nazareth, but they also honor the parents of Mary, especially Saint Anne who bore and gave birth to her. How glorious to give birth to one who would be the Mother of God! May we who have devotion to you, Saint Anne, obtain even more devotion to Mary and the greatest devotion to Christ, your grandson.