Novena at the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit
July 17 – 26
One of the highlights of the year at the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit is Novena. This joyful event will take place from July 17-26 and is a decades-old tradition. Novena is nine days of prayer including Mass each day. Each day of prayer has a different theme associated with an ethnic group important to Detroit. On the tenth day, we celebrate the Feast of Ste. Anne. We gather to ask Ste. Anne to pray for our intentions, the intentions of our families, our city, our Archdiocese, and our world.
History of Devotion to Ste. Anne
What is known about Ste. Anne comes from the Protoevangelium of James, an apocryphal Gospel written around 145 A.D. Anne was married to Joachim and is the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and therefore the grandmother of Jesus.
Missionaries dedicated a chapel to Ste Anne in France in the 6th century A.D. In France, devotion to Ste. Anne became important when a French peasant, Yves Nicolazic, reported apparitions of Ste. Anne in August of 1623 and 1624. A woman appeared who said: “I am Anne, mother of Mary. There was a chapel built here before that was dedicated to me. I ask you to build it again and take care of it because God wants me honored here.”
French missionaries brought the devotion to Quebec, Canada in 1658. Over the centuries several churches have been built in honor of Ste. Anne. The Basilica of Ste. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec was completed in 1946.
Devotion to Ste. Anne in Detroit
Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Detroit on July 24, 1701. Two days later a Mass was celebrated on Ste. Anne’s feast day by one of the priests who came with Cadillac. Ste. Anne was the patroness of New France.
Although the novena to Ste. Anne presumably goes back to the beginning of the parish, there was surge of devotion to the saint and to the novena with the building of the current church in 1886. A shrine was constructed in the southeast side of the church. A relic of Ste. Anne was obtained from the Basilica in Paris and is displayed in a reliquary at the shrine. Fr. James Grand (1886-1907) and Fr. Luke Renaud (1907-1919) of the Basilian Fathers of Toronto were pastors during this period.
On April 19, 2017, Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, decreed that the shrine in the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit is the official Archdiocesan shrine to Ste. Anne. Ste. Anne is the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
For more information about Novena, please contact the parish office at 313-496-1701.