Basilica

The Basilica is a shrine dedicated to Saint Anne. It is therefore natural that the first images that attract our attention speak of Saint Anne. Even though we know little about Saint Anne, the mere fact of being the mother of Mary and the grandmother of Jesus is enough for the Church’s recognition and veneration since time immemorial.

MOSAIC VAULT

The entire vault of the Basilica speaks to us of Saint Anne. It tells us about her life, the life of a holy Jewish woman of this time. It speaks about her virtues which, by the way, should also be ours. And it also tells us about her glorification.

In the centre of the apse, just above the main altar, we see Saint Anne, the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus. Saint Anne is presenting a fruit to Jesus, which is not simply a treat from grandmother to her grandson, but a wonderful symbol of his mission of Redeemer and Saviour of mankind. It’s not a fruit of death like the fruit that Adam and Eve ate but a fruit of life, atonement for the original error. In this glorification, these three persons are surrounded by several Blessed of our Church along with Saint Joseph, Saint Joachim and Saint John the Baptist. In the background can be seen a great orchestra and elegant Angel musicians.

STAINED GLASS

Creations by Mr. Auguste Labouret, the 240 stained glass windows in the Basilica are very important decorative elements of superb quality. An expert once said that these windows were "the most beautiful since the Middle Ages!"

In the apse (vault above the High Altar), Christ is the first Person that attracts our attention. Draped with his red garment, He is located in the canopy just above the High Altar. He is surrounded by prophets and patriarchs from the Old Testament who predicted and announced His coming.

At the same level, in the central nave: a little history of the Church by the presentation of well-known witnesses, all the saints, grouped in threes: papal saints, doctor saints, martyr saints and religious figures.

At the middle level, in the transepts, one can read the most beautiful page of the Bible: the Beatitudes. At the same level, in the ambulatory (surrounding the sanctuary): the apostle’s gallery; and in the nave, the tremendous devotion to St. Anne from different locations in North America. On the lower sides, important dates and events in the history of this pilgrimage.

THE EVANGELISTS

On the four central pillars are the writers of the four gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke and John), who wrote their experiences, which we still re-read and which show Jesus as alive, present and close to us.

THE CAPITALS

The capitals crowning the columns let us see some remarkable art that recounts the Gospels: the life of Christ, from His birth to His death and resurrection. These sculptures by Master Émile Brunet are considered as masterpieces…  and could well be the most beautiful capitals in the world.

THE PEWS

The celebrations bring together the children of God. But it’s a hymn of all creation that rises from the great nave of the Basilica, as if the 260 plants and animals sculpted into the benches unite discreetly in this hymn of thanksgiving.

THE FLOOR

Even the floor speaks. When we enter the Basilica, we see three diamonds in which are illustrated the concupiscences of man: power, wealth and pleasures. In themselves, these are not bad things; they are even necessary, but in moderation. In the central aisle, seven medallions illustrate the so-called capital sins. They remind us of our limits. We come here to meet the Lord, but we realize that we often move away from Him.

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