On March 8, 1658, a man by the name of Etienne de Lessard
donated two frontal acres from the West end of his property to the
Catholic Church so that a chapel could be built. This chapel
eventually became the site of the modern-day basilica. It was built
for two reasons: to provide a place of worship for the new settlers
in the areaand to house
a marvellous statue of St. Anne.
first reported miracle at the site happened during the shrine’s
construction. A man named Louis Guimond was hired to help build the
shrine even though he suffered fromrheumatism.
After placing three stones upon the shrine’s foundation, Guimond was
cured of all his ailments.This
was followed by other testimonies of healed people and the shrine
soon grew in popularity. Manypilgrimscame
to the shrine hoping to receive a miracle while others like Anne of
shrine from their homes.
Because of the popularity of the shrine, the building was enlarged
several times to accommodate all the pilgrims. In 1876, the first
basilica opened for worship. The dimensi
ons of the basilica,
including the side chapels, were 158 × 77 m (200ʹ × 100ʹ).The
first basilica was destroyed in a fire on March 29, 1922. The
present-day basilica was built on the site of the prior church in
1926. Miracles are still believed to be performed at the basilica.
When entering the church one can see two pillars filled with racks
of crutches, canes, braces, and other signs of disabilities. Every
item has been left by a pilgrim who reports being healed at the
The wooded hillside next to it has a memorialchapeland
a Way of the Cross, with life-sizedStations
of the Cross.