St Anne de Beaupre Quebec
Visit St. Anne de Beaupre Quebec to immerse in the majesty and beauty of the historic shrine. On the edge of the St Lawrence River, the shrine’s magnificent churches, chapels, and grounds have been receiving pilgrims for over 350 years. Exploring the Shrine of St Anne de Beaupre is one of the best things to do in Quebec City Canada.
Welcoming over a million visitors a year, the St Anne de Beaupre Basilica is the heart of the shrine. The Basilica is named in honor of Saint Anne; a healer and the grandmother of Jesus. Throughout the Basilica, Saint Anne is revered in gorgeous mosaics, sculptures, and stained-glass windows that bathe the church in color and light.
On the grounds of the shrine, visitors will find the Basilica, churches, chapels, and more. The first time we visited, Randy and I toured the Basilica’s main level not realizing there was much more to see. Don’t make our mistake. Use our St Anne de Beaupre Quebec walking route to see the entire site.
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WHO WAS SAINT ANNE
As written in the Christian tradition, Saint Anne was the mother of Mary, and the maternal grandmother of Jesus Christ. The St Anne de Beaupre miracles are healings that pilgrims report after visiting the Basilica. Recorded testimonies date back to the 1600’s, and include instances when “paralytics walk, the blind see, and the sick are healed of every kind of illness,” (https://sanctuairesainteanne.org/).
WHY DO PILGRIMS VISIT THE SHRINE
Pilgrims from across the world visit the Shrine of St Anne de Beaupre to pray for Anne’s healing powers. Believers of the St Anne de Beaupre miracles tell of a story in which a worker on the original Basilica was able to discard his crutches upon completion of the church. Today, the miracle is remembered when pilgrims leave a crutch at the Basilica’s front door. Many of the St Anne de Beaupre crutches are stacked inside the Basilica.
SHRINE OF ST ANNE DE BEAUPRE HISTORY
The site’s original church was constructed in 1658. After a fire destroyed this building, the current church was constructed in the 1920s. The Memorial Chapel dates back to 1878. The Scala Santa was erected in 1891.
SAINT ANNE DE BEAUPRE RELICS
Three notable relics reside at the shrine: A portion of St Anne’s finger (obtained 1670); and two pieces of St Anne's forearm (obtained 1892 and 1960).
THINGS TO SEE AT THE SHRINE OF ST ANNE DE BEAUPRE
Saint Anne’s Fountain
The Basilica – Main Floor & Lower Level
The Memorial Chapel
The Way of the Cross
The Scala Santa
The St Anne de Beaupre Gift Shop
WHERE IS THE SHRINE OF ST ANNE DE BEAUPRE
The Shrine of St Anne de Beaupre is located about 22-miles (34km) outside of Quebec City. The shrine is situated on the banks of the St Lawrence River in the town of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre.
SHRINE OF ST ANNE DE BEAUPRE - COST
There is no charge to visit the Shrine of St Anne de Beaupre. Parking is also free.
ST ANNE DE BEAUPRE OPENING HOURS
At this time, the Basilica’s hours are: Sunday 7:30am to 5:30pm; Weekdays 8:30am to 4:30pm; and Saturdays 8:30am to 5:00pm. Call 418-827-3781 to confirm other opening hours for other buildings.
ACTIVE RELIGIOUS SITE
St Anne de Beaupre is an active religious community with daily masses in many of the chapels (conducted in French). Visitors are welcome, but please be respectful of those worshipping when arriving, departing, and taking photos or videos.
BEST TIME TO VISIT ST ANNE DE BEAUPRE
The shrine is generally busiest during the mid-day hours, summer months, and on holy days (especially St Anne’s feast in July). Early morning and late afternoon are considered the best time of day to visit.
ST ANNE DE BEAUPRE ACCESSIBILITY
The shrine’s website states the Basilica “is partially accessible to wheelchair users.”
Be aware, the site has many stairs and uneven surfaces. The mobility impaired may require a wheelchair (bring your own). The gardens around the basilica’s façade are flat and paved. The Way of the Cross garden is paved, but hilly. I do not believe the Memorial Chapel or Scala Santa are wheelchair accessible.
HOW TO GET TO ST ANNE DE BEAUPRE QUEBEC
At less than a half hour from the city, a visit to the Shrine of St Anne de Beaupre is the perfect Quebec City day trip. Here are some of the more popular means of transport:
By Car: The shrine is about 24-minutes outside of Quebec City.
By Bus: Departures leave from the Gare du Palais train station in Quebec City.
By Boat: A ferry boat runs between the Port of Quebec Harbor to the St Anne de Beaupre dock. We used this service and had a beautiful cruise along the St Lawrence River.
By Tour Excursion: Many car, bus, and van tours depart from Quebec City to the Shrine. Combination tours also often take in Montmorency Falls and the Isle of Orleans.
SHRINE OF ST ANNE DE BEAUPRE WALKING ROUTE
Shrine of St Anne de Beaupre Map
The Basilica Main Floor
Approaching the main gate, stop at the Information Center to check for a schedule of daily masses. Entering the shrine grounds, turn left and walk to the front of the complex. View the Romanesque Revival style of the Basilica. The immense church soars 100-meters into the sky. At its peak, between the two bell towers, look for the statue of Saint Anne. The statue is one of the few artifacts from the original church that escaped the fire of 1922.
Walk toward the Fountain of Saint Anne. Created by sculptor Emile Brunet, the fountain was installed for the 350th anniversary of the shrine. Above the basin’s scalloped lips see Saint Anne and her daughter, Mary. Wander the garden. Then, make your way into the Basilica.
If there is no mass going on, walk the center aisle of the nave (main hall). Take in the alter, then circle the perimeter of the Basilica looking for the Statue of Saint Anne and Saint Anne’s Great Relic. Notice the murals, mosaics, and stained-glass depicting nature, birth, the solar system, time, and signs of the zodiac.
The Basilica Lower Level
When you are ready, take the stairs to the lower level. Visit the:
Immaculate Conception Chapel: Dedicated to Anne's daughter, Mary, the chapel is decorated with Romanesque paintings and 176 nature-based mosaics on the chapel’s columns.
Ambulatory Chapels: See a series of intricately decorated chapels, each dedicated to a different saint.
The Pieta: A replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Adoration Chapel: The chapel's decorations tell the story of the Eucharist.
Exit the back of the basilica. Pass the Blessings Office and Shrine Store. Cross the road and walk to the Memorial Chapel.
The current Memorial Chapel (1878) was built on the foundation of an earlier church which stood on the site between 1676 to 1876. The Church interiors and steeple were salvaged and reused from the old church. The adjacent cemetery was used to bury parishioners until 1930.
Way of the Cross
Behind Memorial Chapel, the Way of the Cross stretches over a hill. In a grove of leafy maple trees, fourteen stations of the cross tell the story of the Passion of Jesus (the short final period before the death of Christ). Each scene includes 4-5 figures cast in bronze. The walkway was constructed over a 32-year period from 1913 to 1945. When you reach the last station, walk to the Scala Santa.
The Scala Santa Chapel houses a replica of the “Scala Santa” staircase that Jesus ascended to reach Pontius Pilate. Built in 1891, each of the staircase’s risers holds a religious memento from different shrines in the Holy Land. The Holy Stairs are located on the second floor of the building and serve as a reminder of the Passion.
St Anne de Beaupre Gift Shop
Before exiting the grounds, be sure to stop at the St Anne de Beaupre Shrine Store. The store stocks a large assortment of religious books, candles, statues, jewelry, crucifixes, and many other items.
À bientôt (See you soon) from La Côte-de-Beaupré, Laura and Randy
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