Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pilgrimage to Quebec- Part IV (St. Anne de Beaupre)

Pilgrimage to Quebec- Part IV (St. Anne de Beaupre)

St. Anne de Beaupre.

One of the highlights of my pilgrimage to Quebec was the shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre. Located about 20 miles outside of Quebec City to the east. It has been a pilgrimage site for Catholics for about 350 years now! There has been a church named after St. Anne there ever since sailors were rescued by her intercession. There have been many miracles attributed to St. Anne’s intercession, and many have left their crutches behind in the monstrous basilica attesting to their miraculous healing. In fact, even Protestant skeptics have investigated such claims and have come away believers! St. Anne has a huge following in Quebec, and I saw a statue of her in every church that I visited between Montreal and Quebec City. We don’t see nearly as much attention to her here in the States, perhaps we should change that.

One of the many embossed brass plates that cover the front doors.

After getting into Quebec City in the evening after visiting the Basilica of Notre Dame du Cap, I ate some dinner in the historic area of Quebec City. Bright and early the next morning I headed off to the Basilica of St. Anne de Beaupre. The basilica steeples can be seen from quite a distance out, and the structure towers next to the highway running from Quebec City to the little town of St. Anne de Beaupre. The basilica that stands there now replaced a smaller one which burned in 1922. The current church was begun in 1923 and finally completed in 1976. It is in my opinion some of the best of modern church architecture, built in a Romanesque style. I spent a majority of the day at the basilica. I went to Mass in the morning and then spent the rest of the meandering around, spending time in prayer, and taking pictures of almost every square inch of the splendid structure. The mosaics of the life of St. Anne which cover the entire ceiling are radiant, as is the statue of her located to the left of the sanctuary to which pilgrims flock to, to make their needs known. There are several side altars going around the main sanctuary that are quite spectacular. The lower chapel is also very nice, and there are some wonderful paintings on the walls, one my favorites being St. Ambrose and St. Augustine.
The mosaics adorning the ceiling of St. Anne de Beaupre
One of the side altars, dedicated to St. Alphonsus Liguori.

Located under the church next to the lower chapel there is the body of Venerable Father Alfred Pampalon. I had not heard of this great friend in heaven before my visit. He has been known to help those dealing with addictions of every kind. You can visit his tomb and pray before his marble casket and ask him for his intercession as many have done before. In his youth Father Pampalon used to make a pilgrimage to the shrine on foot as well as by boat. I picked up his biography in the gift shop of the museum, which is located right next to the basilica. The museum is also well worth seeing and it covers the history of St. Ann de Beaupre as well as some of the history of Catholicism in Quebec. Like the other shrines there is also a historic chapel on the hill next to the main basilica, but it was closed when I was there along with the replica of the Scala Sancta next to it, because of work being done on the embankments.

The tomb of the Venerable Father Alfred Pampalon
Painting of St. Ambrose and St. Augustine in the lower chapel

On the other side of the lower chapel there is a Blessed Sacrament chapel, where you can spend time in prayer with Our Lord. After you’ve spent time in prayer, there is also a gift shop in the back of the basilica which has nice statues, rosaries, and other gifts. The statues are reasonably priced, but I found a great place in Quebec City that has hand painted statues at incredible prices. So I was glad I did not buy one there. I will cover that in another post! All in all, I arrived at the chapel around 8:30 in the morning and did not leave after 5PM or so. It was an all day event, and well worth the time I spent there. If you are ever visiting Quebec City do not miss out an incredible opportunity to visit St. Anne de Beaupre.

The splendid capitals and mosaics.
The ever radiant St. Anne in the main basilica.
Side altar containing the relics of St. Anne
What you see when you walk through the doors.
What a cool statue of St. Michael.
Every inch of the basilica is worth a picture.
Saint Anne, pray for us!


croixmom said...

Back when churches were built to the Greater Glory of God.....

Meem said...

Thank you for this wonderful pilgrimage series. It makes me want to pursue getting my EDL and get up there, at least to St. Anne de Beaupre....

scott davidson said...

Fantastische Idee mit der fliegenden Schildgröte an der Wand. Kinder lieben Phantasie und Monsters, wie dieses zum Beispiel von Max Ernst, was vielleicht für einige Kinder noch zu schrecklich ist. Aber dafür gibt es ja noch eine grosse Auswahl bei wo sie zwischen soviel schönen Kindermotiven auswählen können. Und dann lassen Sie es sich einfach rund um den Globus liefern.