Pilgrimage to the relics of St. Anne
8 to 11 June 2012
Holy Cross Monastery in Toronto along with Fr. Archimandrite Nicolas Giroux and Hierodeacon Mardarie organized, for three years, a pilgrimage to the relics of St. Anne, Mother of the Theotokos, which are found in the Basilica of St. Anne near Quebec. The pilgrimage took place from June 8 to 11. This year the group of pilgrims was composed of more than 40 faithful close to the Monastery.
The first day, after a long journey of several hours, ended by a stop made at Basilica Notre Dame du Cap (Trois Rivieres), halfway between Montreal and Quebec. The Basilica and the place are known as places of pilgrimage in the province of Quebec. In the evening of the same day, the faithful covered the road of the Cross listening to some of the short meditations on the life of Jesus. Then together with other groups of pilgrims, they participated in the common procession.
The next day the Akathist of the Theotokos was read and the Devine Liturgy was served by Bishop Ioan Casian of Vicina, Auxiliary Bishop, along with Archimandrite Nicolas Giroux and Hierodeacon Mardarie. On Saturday afternoon the group of pilgrims headed to Quebec where is the Basilica housing the relics of St. Anne. Saturday evening the faithful met in front of the Basilica. Prior to worship the relics of St. Anne, the group could admire the beauty of the Basilica with many Byzantine touches in the architecture and interior decoration, but could feel the holiness and peace arising from the place. The group of pilgrims prayed and meditated again at the significance of events and life of our Savior after which all took part in the traditional procession.
Sunday morning, the Akathist of St. Joachim and Anna was read, followed by the Divine Liturgy served by His Grace Ioan Casian of Vicina together with Archimandrite Nicolas Giroux and Hierodeacon Mardarie. On Sunday afternoon the faithful were able to visit the nearby Montmorency Falls. After that they went back to Trois Rivieres to stay overnight. Monday morning they went to Montreal to visit St. Joseph Oratory followed by a return to Toronto.
Basilica of St. Anne has three relics of St. Anna. The first part was brought on March 12, 1670 by Bishop Francois de Laval. The second part (part of the forearm) was received on July 26, 1892 by Bishop Joseph (Callixtus Canac) Marquis of St. Paul's Basilica in Rome as a gift of Pope Leo XIII. A third important part was brought on July 3, 1960 as the gift of Pope John XXIII.