Saint Anne


"Good St. Anne"

Nihil Obstat: William J. Blacet, J.C.L.
Censor Librorum
Imprimatur: +J. John P. Cody, S.T.D.
Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph
December 4, 1957

Originally published by the Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration, Clyde, Missouri in 1958. Revised edition published in 1963. Retypeset and re-published by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc. in 1998. Updates and additions made to information on shrines by the Publisher, 1998.


Precious Relics

The Church of St. Anne de Beaupré in Quebec, in Canada has long been privileged to possess a rare relic of the Saint. It is a fragment of the wrist bone of St. Anne, about two or three inches in length, with the skin and flesh still adhering to the bone and showing the joint near the thumb. When the precious relic arrived in New York from Rome on May 1, 1892, a holy enthusiasm seized the busy metropolis. Crowds of the faithful began to flock to the church of St. Jean Baptiste, where the relic was temporarily deposited for the veneration of the faithful. It was a spectacle never before witnessed in the New World.

   After obtaining this relic, the Redemptorist Fathers, guardians of the Shrine of St. Anne de Beaupré, sought to obtain possession of the forearm from which the wrist bone had been detached in 1892. This relic had been venerated for centuries in the Major Basilica of St. Paul- Outside-the-Walls in Rome. In May, 1960, this cherished desire of the Redemptorist Fathers was realized when the Benedictines in charge of the Basilica of St. Paul donated the entire forearm of  St. Anne to the Basilica of St. Anne de Beaupré.  This relic measures seven inches in length by two inches at the base.

On the occasion of its translation, splendid spiritual celebrations again took place in the church of St. Jean Baptiste in New York and at the Shrine of St. Anne de Beaupré. On July 3, 1960, the first Sunday of the month of St. Anne, the new relic was solemnly enthroned in the Basilica of St. Anne, where it has since been venerated by the crowds of pilgrims who come to the shrine.

Saint Anne of New York

    So great had been the enthusiasm of the faithful of New York in venerating the relic of St. Anne in 1892, when on its way to the Shrine of St. Anne de Beaupré, that it had remained exposed for three weeks, instead of three days, as first intended. Throngs gathered from every direction. Their pious zeal was rewarded by Pope Leo XIII, who soon afterward presented them with a considerable portion of the forearm of St. Anne, which since that time has been preserved and devoutly venerated in the church of St. Jean Baptiste.

   In October, 1900, the Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament, whose chief work is the perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, were put in charge of the church. Such numbers of worshipers came to honor the Blessed Sacrament and St. Anne that the church proved too small. In 1901 a crypt dedicated to St. Anne was built under the upper church, but this too soon proved inadequate. However, on the appeal of Cardinal Farley, generous donations of the devotees of the Blessed Sacrament and St. Anne made it possible to erect a magnificent new church, at 194 E. 76th St. [Lexington Avenue and East 76th Street], which was opened in February, 1913.

   St. Anne, as if to show her gratitude, has not ceased to bestow marvelous cures and spiritual and temporal favors upon her children. In the sanctuary, tier upon tier of crutches, canes and braces witness her miraculous power. Four times daily the relic is applied to the sick, the lame, the blind, the broken-hearted and the needy. Every Tuesday, [see note below] the perpetual novena services are attended by large crowds.

   Every year, solemn novena services are held before the feast of St. Anne in July, and large as the church is, the novena crowds strain its capacity to the utmost. Nine Masses are celebrated daily, and thousands of Holy Communions are distributed during the novena. Seven priests are on duty in the confessionals from early morning until night. Two sermons and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament are given in the afternoon and evening; the holy relic is applied almost continuously from morning until late at night. Conservative estimates put the number of pilgrims who visit the shrine during the novena at no less than 100,000.

While we have checked all the U.S. shrines mentioned here to make sure they still exist, anyone who wishes to attend devotions at any of them is advised to call beforehand to check the schedule. Also, those shrines which are not located inside a parish church may not be open every day.---Publisher, 1998.

We could not locate an image of the Blessed Sacrament statue so we have substituted another also in New York City. This statue is a bit mottled with grime and age: we cleaned up much of it, and put a misty overlay in yellow to soften the effect for web presentation.---the Web Master.

Other Shrines of St. Anne in the United States

    While the other shrines of St. Anne in the United States are not so widely known as that in New York and that of St. Anne de Beaupré in Canada, nevertheless the Saint does not disdain to work the prodigies of her goodness elsewhere too.
   The Blessed Sacrament Fathers and Brothers have a shrine to St. Anne in Cleveland at 5384 Wilson Mills Rd. St. Anne's shrine stands next to St. Paschal's Church.

   In Arvada, Colorado [7555 Grant Place], there is a shrine dedicated to St. Anne which is privileged to possess a true relic of the Saint, a particle of bone. In former years the relic was venerated through the intercession of good St. Anne.
   In the Middle West, also, are located several shrines of St. Anne, the one in Chicago, Illinois being known as "St. Anne of Brighton Park." This shrine was begun in 1900 by French Canadians. Its simple origin centered about the authentic relics of the Saint, portions of bones, the largest being about one inch in length. Because of the many reported miracles and spiritual favors received, the shrine grew to be one of the largest and most notable in the United States and has attracted thousands of pilgrims who are unable to journey to the more famous shrine of St. Anne de Beaupré. At the Fountain of St. Anne, the waters of which pass over the encased relic of the Saint, many cures have been wrought, and there are on record at the shrine the names of hundreds of persons who have been cured or helped by the holy mother of the Blessed Virgin.

   The shrine itself is a chapel in Our Lady of Fatima parish at West 38th Place [formerly the church of St. Joseph and St. Anne at 3836 S. California Avenue]. Devotions to St. Anne are held there every Thursday.  The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was formerly a center of devotion to St. Anne and is still blessed in the possession of a precious relic of the Saint, which is now imbedded in a side altar. In former years the devoted clients of St. Anne came in large numbers to venerate the relic when it was presented for public veneration, and many favors were received through the loving mother of the Mother of Mercy. [In recent years the shrine of St. Anne has also served as a memorial to children and youths who have died.]

     A fitting monument to the glories of St. Anne is the shrine in Scranton, Pennsylvania, known as St. Anne of Scranton, or St. Anne's Basilica parish. It is located at 1239 St. Anne St. and is served by the Passionist Fathers. A perpetual novena is conducted there every Monday, and a steady stream of clients continues from early morning till night. For centuries St. Anne has been invoked as patroness of miners, and it surely cannot be a coincidence that this shrine is located in the center of the anthracite coal mining region.

In St. Louis, Missouri, too, there is a shrine to St. Anne. It is now a combined parish called Visitation-St. Anne's Shrine. The parish is listed in the Catholic Directory as "African-American." The church is located at 4145 Evans Ave. Devotions are held every Thursday.

    In the village of St. Anne, Illinois, a novena of Masses is held yearly at St. Anne Catholic Church from July 18 to July 26, with other festive observances on July 26, the Feast of St. Anne. St. Anne Church was founded in 1872; it is blessed to possess a relic of the Saint. The church is located about 60 miles south of Chicago and 15 miles: southeast of Kankakee. The novena has been the occasion of many blessings, both spiritual and physical-----as testified by the canes, crutches and wheelchairs left behind.
   In the south, New Orleans, Louisiana, boasts of a beautiful shrine of St. Anne, dedicated in 1935. It consists of a grotto and small gift shop located at 2101 Ursuline Avenue [Ursuline and Johnston], next to St. Peter Claver Parish [with which it is not connected]. Although Church authorities, had decided in 1995 to close the shrine, they consented to allow lay devotees of St. Anne to keep it open on a limited basis. Currently the shrine is open a few mornings per week [Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays-----and Fridays in Lent].

  While the above-mentioned shrine is the original shrine of St. Anne in New Orleans, the title of National Shrine of St. Anne now belongs to St. Anne Church and Shrine, located at 3601 Transcontinental in nearby Metairie, Louisiana 70006. Devotions are held there on Tuesday nights. The St. Anne Group of New Orleans, which had taken over the work of constructing a basilica and other units, was raised to the rank of an Archconfraternity for the whole United States by Pius XI on May 18, 1926.
   A relic of St. Anne is venerated in the relic chapel of St. Mary's College in St. Mary's, Kansas.

   The Benedictine Sisters of Clyde, Missouri are privileged to possess a small particle of bone of St. Anne, which is enshrined in their relic chapel. Visitors are welcome to visit the chapel. The convent and chapel are located on County Road P, off Hwy 136, 16 miles SSE of Maryville.