Story of Saint Ann Shrine
In 1892, Pope Leo XIII sent a first-class relic of Saint Ann to the famous Shrine of Saint Ann de Beaupré in Canada. On the way to Canada, the bearer of this precious relic stopped in New York City to the French-Canadian parish and the little church of Église Saint Jean Baptiste. The relic was exposed in the church, and miraculously the sick and afflicted were cured, the blind saw, the lame walked, souls came back to God!
For three weeks, crowds thronged to Saint Jean Baptiste Church from every part of the country. On the day of the departure for the Shrine of Saint Ann in Beaupré, Quebec, the relic was carried through the crowded church amid cries of: “Good-bye Good Saint Ann! Come back soon!”
Moved by such devotion, the bearer of the relic arrived at Beaupré and requested from the rector that a portion of the relic be returned to Saint Jean’s in New York. As a result, the relic was divided and a portion of it was returned to the church in New York. The first annual Novena (nine days of prayer leading up to the Feast of Saint Ann on July 26) began July 19, 1892 and has continued every year since in the United States at Saint Ann Shrine, New York City..
In 1900, Archbishop Corrigan of New York City invited the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in Montreal to administer the parish of Église Saint Jean Baptiste (the official name of the church/parish). Founded as a French-Canadian immigrant parish, Saint Jean Baptiste became a center of Eucharistic devotion for the whole country, the first community of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in the United States and a place where the Priests’ Eucharistic League, Peoples’ Eucharistic League, Nocturnal Adoration Society began to be led by the Congregation. Bishop Clarence Maes, Covington, Kentucky, began the first USA National Eucharistic Congress, inspired by the International Eucharistic Congresses and the desire of Saint Peter Julian Eymard to regularly have congresses on the Eucharist. The National Conference of Catholic Bishops for the USA gave these ministries to the Blessed Sacrament Community for administration.
A portion of the Saint Ann relic came to rest in the Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament and opened an additional Saint Ann Shrine in Highland Heights, Ohio because the USA provincial headquarters of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament relocated in Ohio. The naming of the province, under the patronage of Saint Ann, is due to this long history and inherited administering of the relic of Saint Ann and devotion to this sacred saint and relic.
The Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament was consecrated by Most Reverend Clarence Issenmann on May 4, 1965, coadjutor bishop and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland for the house of studies (Saint Joseph Seminary) for the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Province of Saint Ann. This Oratory has been in continuous use from the seminary days of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Province of Saint Ann, moving from the original location on Euclid Avenue (founded in 1931) to this newly consecrated location in Highland Heights in 1965.
The first Triduum for Saint Ann in Highland Heights, Ohio, celebrated in the next-door parish church of Saint Paschal Baylon, began July 24 – 26, 1987 in the Diocese of Cleveland. People came from all over the Midwest to enjoy this Triduum. This event occurs at the same time as the annual nine-day novena still held at Église Saint Jean Baptiste July 19-26.
On the feast of the Archangels, 29 September 2023, Most Reverend Bishop Edward C. Malesic elevated Saint Ann Shrine to a diocesan shrine. The Diocesan Shrine of Saint Ann is housed in the Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament, on the grounds of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Province of Saint Ann next to the grounds of Saint Paschal Baylon parish, the territorial parish.
All donations to Saint Ann Shrine support the various ministries of the priests, deacons and brothers of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Please pray for us and our ministry!