on May 17, 2012
The early 20th century basilica replaced an older one that burned down. It's located about 20 miles east of Quebec city and is a place of pilgrimage. Saint Anne is known for healing and there are many cases of people that were healed after praying to Saint Anne who was the mother of Mary and who is the patron saint of Quebec.In 1658, a few acres was donated to the church for a chapel. Miracles started happening while the chapel was being built and continued. The chapel was enlarged into a basilica eventually, welcoming thousands and thousands of pilgrims every year. In 1922 the basilica burned down and the present one was started soon after, taking about 20 years to complete.The basilica is really very nice inside, with high arches and scenes from the life of Saint Anne throughout in stained glass and paintings. There is also a spectacular gold statue of Saint Anne. Just inside the entrance you see dozens of crutches and canes mounted on two pillars, items left behind by people cured after praying to Saint Anne. Downstairs, there is the arched ceilinged chapel of Immaculate Conception, lights reflecting off the blues and golds on the arches. There are little mosaics on the corners of the pillars and posts.The church is completely accessible with a lift and ramps. Across the road is a large field for camping in season. On the hill behind the church is a memorial chapel with stations of the cross and a set of stairs that pilgrims often climb.Even if you aren't there to do a pilgrimage, or are overly religious, this is a beautiful basilica to visit.There's now a large plaza in front of the church with a fountain. There are touristy type buildings around it, with and inn, restaurants and gift shops and there's a museum as well.
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