Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The National Shrine to St. Anne

The Normans brought devotion to St. Anne to Ireland and established a shrine in her honour in a chapel dedicated to their sainted Bishop of Rouen, St. Audoen, at Cornmarket in Dublin.  Devotion to St. Anne on this site dates from 1169/1170 centred on the Norman gifted relic (a finger bone) of St. Anne to their new home. Such was the level of devotion that by 1352 the festival of St. Anne on 26th July was declared a holy day of obligation and in 1431, King Henry VI granted letters patent establishing the Guild of St. Anne – “to the praise of God and of the Blessed Virgin Mary and in honour of St. Anne”. Six priests were necessary to tend to the needs of pilgrims from within Ireland, from Britain and from the Continent. The Church contained a chapel to St. Mary (the Lady Chapel) and St. Anne, with altars to St. Catherine, St. Nicholas, St. Thomas and St. Clare. Excavation yields in 1967 to 1972 at the thirteenth century layer, included a pewter pilgrim-badge and a small bronze pilgrim’s flask/ampulla.   The Seal of the Guild can be seen today in the medieval church.

And the Devotion to St. Anne continues today.  Every Tuesday at the 1:15pm Holy Mass (celebrated in English), the Book of Enrolment of the Family of St. Anne is placed on the Altar alongside the Relic of St. Anne and this Holy Mass is offered for the intentions of all those enrolled in the Family of St. Anne in the Family Year.  After Holy Mass, the Novena to St. Anne (to include a petition for all the members of the Family of St. Anne) and Benediction follows, concluding with a blessing of those present with the Relic and an opportunity to venerate the precious Relic of St. Anne.  The Shrine to St. Anne is on your immediate right as you enter the Church.  All are welcome.  

St. Audoens Catholic Church is situated in High Street, Dublin 8 and is currently under the care of the Polish Chaplaincy for Ireland and the administrator is Fr. Jaroslaw Maszkiewicz.  

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