Sanctuaire Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre

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Quebec City
Sanctuaire Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre
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Sanctuaire Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is one of the nicest churches I've ever seen! It is in pristine condition and when you walk in you see the most delightful yellow ceiling with golden flecks. This entry area has tile mosaics with countryside themes such as a goat, ram, dove, woman gathering wheat. You are in the countryside, 19 miles outside Quebec City, surrounded by little farms, forest, and 350 year old houses that hug the road, in the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains. Driving along Ave Royale to get to the church is half the fun- there is a cute sight every few seconds. Drive along Côte Sainte-Anne (one street back) as well if you have time, because the views of the water are lovely. In the forest above the church there is a walk with impressive golden statues of the twelve stations of the cross, a memorial chapel with an adorable bell tower, and a grotto. Further up the hill is a convent with a beautiful steeple- it was restored in 2017 and turned into apartments. I didn't have time to check out the 12 stations of the cross because I was on a Unitour bus trip that didn't give us nearly enough time! Come on your own if you can, with a car, so you can stay as long as you like and explore the surrounding country roads. Canyon Sainte-Anne, 8 mins drive north, has a tall waterfall in a gorgeous canyon, plus adorable wooden sculptures of animals. This waterfall is more beautiful situated than Montmorency Falls. 

In front of the church is a little park with a grand fountain- at the top stand Saint Anne and her child, Mary, adorned with crowns of maple leaves.  Among trees to the side is a sweet golden sculpture of Mary extending her arms out to you. You can sit on a bench and soak up the sights of the forest and trees all around, and the inspiring steeples of the church. You climb stairs to get to the church door, where you see stone carvings of figures above you, and copper carvings of Jesus and the twelve disciples above the door. The foyer is my favorite, with the yellow tile mosaics! Inside the church, the ceiling stands out as unique- it is so different to any I have seen. Little scenes from Saint Anne's life, in gray-brown mosaics, accented in gold, are labeled, such as "naissance de St-Anne." They are by Auguste Labouret, a glassmaker and mosaic artist from Brittany, who made the first dalle de verre stained glass, using thick pieces of colored glass, in many churches and buildings throughout Brittany and Paris. There are stained glass windows in little alcoves with geometric designs on their ceilings. Labouret developed a special, patented way to cut the stained glass that made is so luminous. He became stuck in Canada during the war, while working on the church, so his daughter had to take over his workshop in Paris. There is a stained rose window. Little Romanesque (rather than the usual Gothic) arches catch the light. Everything is so pleasing, and not gaudy. This is by far the loveliest church interior you could see! I want to come again and take it in for longer. 
Near the entrance is a wall with canes left by people who have been healed at the church. The first miracle happened when Louis Guimont laid three stones for the foundation of the church and was healed of rheumatism, in the mid-1600s. This church was and still is a pilgrimage site, for those seeking a similar cure. Every year on July 26, the Feast Day of Saint Anne, people come here for the Anointing of the Sick. You can volunteer as an Aide of Saint Anne, to help with the anointing. 
After the first church was destroyed in a fire, the present day basilica was built in 1926. It took more than 20 years to complete.
Saint Anne, grandmother of Jesus, is the patron saint of sailors, who made many a scary voyage across from France to Quebec. They sought protection from Saint Anne against shipwrecks as they made their way up the Saint Lawrence River to Quebec City. In the 1650s, sailors from Brittany, France, encountered a fierce storm and their boat was crashing against the rocks. They cried out to Saint Anne, promising to build a chapel for her if she saved them. The storm quickly quietened, and they landed at Beaupré. A few years later they built a little chapel for her, on land donated by a navigator, Mr. Étienne Lessard. This chapel was later moved to the current location of the church, because it was too close to the high tides. The tides vary greatly in this area, and their movement was unexpected by the first settlers. 
Saint Anne is the also the patron saint of the province of Quebec- on the sanctuary website it says, "like a good grandmother, she never tires of spoiling her grandchildren."
She can also help you find a husband, as the prayer goes "Holy Bridgette and Saint Anne, get me a man as fast as you can!"
Also, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré’s shrine is known for its miracles for women who have difficulty having a child.
Across the street from the park that fronts the cathedral, up against the forested foothill, is Cafe Apollo, a cute coffee shop. There is also a colorful art gallery called Galerie Ni Vu Ni Cornu.

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Historic house you drive past on Cote Sainte-Anne.

Sweet little house you pass on Cote Sainte-Anne.

Farm you see along the route, on Cote Sainte-Anne.

Tiny house among the trees.

River crossing on the route.

French countryside architecture you see on the drive.

Side view of the basilica, that you see when you arrive.

The top of the basilica, and its rose window.

The basilica is made of beautiful stone.

Golden statue atop the basilica.


The steeples.

Mary reaching out her arms to you.

A calming statue of Mary in the garden near the fountain.

Mary, and the church behind.

Statue of Mary, and the basilica and gardens.

Women sitting on a bench in the garden.

Scalloped fountain of Saint Anne and her child Mary in front of the basilica.

Saint Anne and her child, Mary, atop the fountain. Their crowns are a circle of maple leaves.

Souvenir de la Troisieme Eglise, built 1878, a little chapel by the hillside, with the 1676 steeple from the old church.

Flowers in the garden.

The garden in front of the basilica.

Little chapel against the hills, on the side of the basilica.

Convent steeple at the top of the hill- it just adds another layer to the beauty here.

The entrance to the sanctuary.

Amazing mosaics in the foyer.

Countryside mosaics. Mai, or the month of May- springtime scene.

Goat mosaic.

The foyer with its yellow tiled ceiling.

Golden tiles catching the light in the foyer.

Ram mosaic, with whimsical waves. Mars, or the month of March.

The ceiling in the foyer is enchanting.

Janvier, or January, mosaic, with water vessel.

Warming by the fire. Hiver or wintertime.

Juin, or the month of June. Crab mosaic.

Aout, or the month of August. Gathering the grains.

The delightful ceiling and arches of the foyer.

Stripey arches in the foyer.

Stained glass inside the basilica.

Side alcove.

Looking toward the altar.

Jesus at the Temple mosaic, on the ceiling of the sanctuary.

Little windows letting in light, and shiny golden tiles on the ceiling mosaics.

Mosaic on the ceiling of the sanctuary- Saint Anne learns to read at the temple.

Jesus, Mary, and Saint Anne, Jesus' grandmother.

The shapes and curves of the sanctuary.

View of the sunny countryside as you exit the sanctuary.

Priest walking the grounds.

The side of the sanctuary.

The steeples, as seen from the side.

The basilica seen from the side.

Misty hillside and railroad tracks you see as you drive away from the basilica.


Sanctuaire Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is located at 10018 Ave Royale, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, 19 mins north of Quebec City. There is a large parking lot.


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Last Updated: Mon, 17 Apr 2023 13:58:56 GMT

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