Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Celebrating the life of St Anne - Week 5

I hope many ladies can join with me every Tuesday in celebrating the life and cult of St Anne throughout the history of the Church leading up to her feastday on the 26th of July. This is a nine week posting of a beautiful article published in the Catholic newspaper called, Catholic ~ The Voice of Catholic Orthodoxy the article itself is is an exerpt from a book by Rev Fr Myles V Ronan CC, MRIA 1927.

Edit 2011: I have since discovered that the wonderful newspaper that this St Anne article has come from, is put out by the Transalpine Redemptorists on the island of Papa Stronsay in Scotland. I now have their blog linked at the top of my lefthand sidebar, you can order this newspaper/magazine from their site.

Today is week three, here are the previous three postings:

Week 4

During these nine weeks I am also giving away a St Anne gift for each posting (either a St Anne chaplet, rosary or necklace of heirloom quality.) To enter the draw, read the day's posting and answer the question taken from the St Anne story.
Then email me the answer with your name and email address written beside it, if the name and email address is not there, I cannot add you to the draw. I will draw out and announce the winner the following Tuesday and release the photo of the next gift and question and on it goes! Feel free to enter each week's draw.

I ask just one special favour, if you could offer an Ave in honour of St Anne for my sister Carmen who would dearly love to be blessed with a child after nine years of infertility, many grateful thanks.

And so we continue on from last week.....


In the 17th century Keranna was a group of small houses covered with thatch, surrounded by some tilled fields and meadows. Eight people lived in the village, one of whom was a priest, and another was Yves Nicolazic.

They were all just comfortable people as far as this world's goods were concerned. At this time Yves Nicolazic was 40 years of age; was married 12 years, and had no family. He was a man of good intelligence, of exemplary life, humble and respectful, and respected by all. He had a warm devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and not only said the Rosary every day but carried his beads about with him in his hands. He used to say that it was an excellent means of being inspired with holy thoughts and of being filled with the spirit of God. But the chief characteristic of his piety was his devotion to St Anne whom he called the Good Mistress.

He had a great respect for the place where the ancient chapel had been and used often to retire there to pray: No one considered him a saint; he was just a good Christian, and remarkable among the people of the place for his exemplary piety and sound common sense.

One night, early in August 1623, as he was as usual thinking of his Good Mistress, his room was suddenly illuminated by a bright light, and he distinctly saw a hand holding a wax torch. This vision lasted while he recited two Paters and Aves. Six weeks later, on a Sunday, an hour after sunset, he saw the same spectacle in the Bocenno field; the same torch suspended in mid-air, but no hand. For fifteen months the same torch continued to shine around him, at different times of the day and in different places. He was not the only witness of this phenomenon.

Above: First apparition of St Anne to Nicolazic.

He was at first somewhat frightened, not knowing what to think of the strange occurrences, but later he began to feel in his heart a certain happiness. One summer's evening, as he and his brother-in-law went to a field near the ancient fountain to round up the cows and bring them home, the beasts became terrified and refused to move. Looking around for the cause of this, the two men saw an extraordinary spectacle. There was a majestic lady, standing and turned towards the fountain, with the grave and tender look of a mother. The first impulse of the two men was to flee, but soon enraptured with the sight, they drew nearer.

Afterwards he saw her frequently and in different places, sometimes near the fountain, sometimes in the house, the barn, etc. Nicolazi thought it might be the soul of his mother, who was not long dead, coming to ask his prayers. And to dispel his doubts he related his story to a Capuchin of Auray, Fr Modeste. The latter advised him to pray more and to visit the two sanctuaries of Auray to find out what God required of him.

On 25 July, the eve of the feast of St Anne, he went to Auray to confession, as he always received Holy Communion on Sundays and holidays. At this time the feast of St Anne was a holiday of obligation in Brittany. Returning to the village, with his beads in his hands, he passed by the old Cross. It was night and the Mysterious Lady suddenly appeared as on former occasions. But this time she spoke. She called him by name and sweetly bade him have no fear. Then she proceeded towards the village carrying a torch in her hand and Nicolazic walked beside her to the houses, still reciting the Rosary. When they came to his farm she suddenly disappeared.

So far, no apparition had lasted so long as this. Nicolazic was profoundly impressed, and making an excuse to his wife that he had to go to the barn to guard the grain that had been threshed on the preceding days, he threw himself on some straw in the barn, but could not sleep. It is to be noted that the walls of this barn had been built with the stones of the ancient chapel of St Anne in the Bocenno field.


Above: Madame Saint Anne d'Auray, Protectress of the Faitha nd Language of the Bretons.

Restless, he began to recite the Rosary, when suddenly, about 11 o'clock, he heard a strange noise on the road near the barn as of a great crowd marching along. Curious to see what it was all about, he went out, but could see no one; the whole village was peaceful. He was stupefied, but taking courage in his devotion to St Anne, he again began to say his Rosary. Suddenly a bright light filled the barn, and the Lady, more resplendent than ever appeared.

At first he was terrified, but soon was at ease, for the Apparition spoke to him: "Yves Nicolazic, be not afraid. I am Anne, Mother of Mary. Tell your Rector that in the field called Bocenno, there was formerly, even before there was any village, a chapel dedicated to my name. It was the first in the whole country. It is now 924 years and 6 months since it fell into ruins. I wish that it be rebuilt as soon as possible, and that you see to it, for God wishes that I be honoured there."

It was not enought to receive a mission; it had to be approved by the Church; but the good parish priest rejected Nicolazic's claims as fantasy. This threw him into a crisis which lasted for seven weeks, when at last, St Anne was to put an end to his doubts and sufferings: "Be consoled, Nicolazic," she said, "the hour will soon come when what I have told you will be accomplished."

The voice of the Saint was so sweet and motherly that he was greatly consoled, and in all simplicity, he cried out: "My God, my Good Mistress, you know the difficulties that our Rector places before me, and the shameful reproaches he had made to me when I spoke to him on your behalf. I have not sufficient means to build a chapel, though I am willing to devote all I have to it. Who will believe me when I say that there was formerly a chapel in the Bocenno field, since there is not a trace of it? But I am ready to do all that you require of me."

"Do not be troubled, my good Nicolazic; I will give the wherewith to begin the work, and nothing will be wanting to accomplish it. I assure you that God being well served there, I shall abundantly provide what will be necessary not only to finish it, but also to accomplish many other things that will astonish everybody. Do not fear to undertake it as soon as possible."

On many other occasions afterwards she appeared to him saying: "I have chosen this place willingly to be honoured here." And again: "All the treasures of Heaven are in my hands."

To be continued next week...

Last week's question was: From time immemorial the Bretons had honoured St Anne at two places, what is the names of these two places? The answer: Palud and St Anne d'Auray.

Becky Ciresi was the first name out of the hat with the correct answer ~ congratulations! Email me with your address Becky, and I'll post the St Anne chaplet you see above to you!

For all those ladies who entered last week's draw, feel free to answer this week's draw, answering the new question below.

Here is an image of this week's St Anne chaplet:

To have a chance to win this week's heirloom quality St Anne chaplet made from gemstones, swarovski crystals and a solid bronze vintage reproduction St Anne d'Auray medal answer the following question:

Q: What was the name of the Capuchin priest in Auray that Nicolazic spoke to?

Email me the answer with your name and email address written next to the answer. Come back next Tuesday to see if you have won!

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