This Basilica is the 5th church devoted to St. Anne, the Mother of Mary, built on this sight since the 1600’s, and was completed in 1934. Since 1671, the faithful have made pilgrimages to this site to pray to St. Anne for help or healing. We found this church to be absolutely awe inspiring……..
From the sheer size of it……….
To the ornate stone work façade……on the left is Mary with Jesus, an the right is St. Joseph, the carpenter.
And elaborate bronze metal work doors……
Everything in this church was a work of art – the work of many artists working with all forms of art and material……I am not sure that I can express how overwhelming the experience was…..to be surrounded by so much art and to appreciate the talent that went into creating this holy place.
There were mosaics………painstakingly designed and created to express adoration and love……
And to tell the stories of the ages…….
And stained glass…..the most unique technique that I had ever seen, using thick glass set in a concrete…….
Creating such a luminosity……..
And wood carvings…….both in side altar details…..
And wood carved statues……unpainted……
As well as elaborately painted……Here is St. Joseph…..I loved this statue, with Jesus comfortably asleep in his dad’s arms.
We discovered that there is a worldwide devotion to St. Anne. Good St. Anne is sometimes depicted as the rescuer of shipwrecked sailors, owing to an incident where three people, who were shipwrecked in the 1700’s, prayed to St. Anne and were rescued.
But, more often, the focus is on Anne as the mother of Mary. According to Biblical tradition, Anne and her husband were childless for 20 years, then God blessed them with Mary. This has also made Anne the Saint for those who struggle with infertility.
Anne devoted herself to the nurture and education of Mary and to the domestic tasks that needed to be done. Thus, Anne is seen as the patron of mothers, and educators, and of those who work with children, or domestic work.
Being an older mother, Saint Anne is depicted as older in the face…..It is just amazing how an artist can convey age by just a few subtle details. Here St. Anne holds Mary at about 3 years old, when Mary was dedicated to God in the temple.
But the image that I liked the most was Saint Anne as Jesus’ Grandmother……..relating to Mary as a grown daughter, and playing with her grandson, Jesus. : )
The art in the Basilica of St. Anne de Beaupre was so extensive, and its impact on us so great, that it can not be covered in just one post……….