Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Québec, Canada (Beaupre) - 1882-84 - Ste. Anne
...At Ste. Anne, history and tradition blend with the life and manners of today in a most striking way. The first settlers in the Cote de Beaupre built a little church on the bank of the St. Lawrence, and dedicated it to La Bonne Ste. Anne, in memory, no doubt, as Ferland says, of the celebrated pilgrimage of Sainte Anne d'Auray in Bretagne. The bank, however, was carried away by the ice and the floods. So another building was commenced in 1657 upon the site pointed out by M. de Queylus, the Vicar-General, and given by Etienne de Lessard. It was finished in 1660. The Governor, M. d'Argenson, laid the first stone, and the work was done by the pjous labour of the habitants. As one of these, Louis Guimont by name, racked with rheumatism, painfully struggled to place three stones in the foundation, he suddenly found his health restored. Thenceforward, La Bonne Ste. Anne de Beaupre became famous throughout all Canada. Among the pilgrims that flocked to celebrate her fete each year, were conspicuous the Christian Hurons and Algonquins, in whom their missionaries had inspired a special devotion for the mother of the Blessed Virgin. To this day their descendants are to be found among the thousands of worshippers whom the steamers carry from Quebec. The pilgrimage is not always such an easy excursion. Those who have special favours to implore, often trudge on foot the long journey to the shrine. A pyramid of crutches, trusses, bandages, and spectacles stands in the church, to attest the miraculous cures worked by faith and prayer.
The site of the old church is marked by a chapel built with the old materials. It is roughly finished within, containing only a few stained seats and a bare-looking altar which stands between two quaint images of Ste. Marie Magdelaine and Ste. Anne, apparently of the time of Louis XIV. By the roadside, close to the chapel, stands a rough grotto surmounted by the image of the sainte set in a niche, over which again there is a cross. Over the stones pours the clear water of a spring; this the pilgrims take away in bottles, for the sake of its miraculous healing power. Near-by is the old presbytery, and farther up the wooded slope, hidden among the trees, is a convent of Hospital Nuns. Their gentleness and kindness to the sick that resort here should by good masters—to commemorate deliverances from peril at sea, for Ste. Anne watches specially over sailors and travellers. Numbers of costly vestments have also been presented, and Pius IX., in addition to giving a fac simile of the miraculous portrait of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, set in a jewelled frame, issued a decree declaring the shrine to be of the first magnitude.
Title Picturesque Canada: The Country as it was and is Lucius Richard O'Brien, Publisher - J. Clarke, 1882
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