Pardon of Ste. Anne d'Auray

Pardon of Ste. Anne d'Auray

Last weekend in July
In the 17th century in Brittany, the story goes, St. Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary, appeared to a peasant named Yves (or Yvon) and told him that she wanted to see her ruined chapel rebuilt. Yves reported this to his bishop, who at first refused to believe him, but eventually changed his mind. Soon afterward, a broken image of St. Anne was found in a field nearby, and people started making contributions so that the effigy could be enshrined. A church was built in Auray and soon it became a place of pilgrimage for believers all over France.
The Pardon of St. Anne remains one of Brittany's most picturesque festivals. On their knees, 20,000 devout Roman Catholics mount the Scala Santa, the sacred stairway leading to the chapel containing St. Anne's statue. Many Bretons attending the festival wear the ornate headdresses and embroidered costumes for which their province is famous. They come to pay homage to St. Anne and pray she will grant their requests.
CONTACTS:
Association of Shrine Towns of France
Office of Tourism, rue Jean-Marie Vianney
Ars-On-Formans, 01480 France
33-4-7408-1076; fax: 33-4-7408-1542
www.villes-sanctuaires.com/anglais/index.htm
SOURCES:
BkFest-1937, p. 126
BkHolWrld-1986, Jul 25
FestWestEur-1958, p. 46
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 450