A priest of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, Father Paul Aulagnier, celebrated the traditional Mass in the Basilica dedicated to Saint Anne, patroness of Canada, at Sainte Anne de Beaupré in the province of Québec, with the full approval of the Archbishop of the region, Mgr. Marc Ouellete and the religious authorities of the Basilica of Saint Anne. The right to say the traditional Mass is for everyone, priests and the faithful. That is what they say.
It was held Saturday, July 26 at 3:30 in the solemnity of Saint Anne before a great number of the faithful of Tradition of Eastern Canada. This date will go down into the annals of the Society in Canada.
Like every year, in fact for about ten years, the faithful of Tradition have come on pilgrimage to the basilica of Saint Anne de Beaupré, on the very day of her feastday, July 26. They came to present to their patroness their vows and fervent and pious prayers.
They thought, for this year, that they would be celebrating the traditional Mass as usual outside of the Basilica, in fact, every year it was not open to them for the holy Mass. The relics of Saint Anne however were presented to them at the end of the afternoon for veneration and benediction.
This year however, following the celebration by Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos of the traditional Mass at Saint Mary Major on May 24, 2003, at Rome, following also the publication of the encyclical of the Pope “Ecclesia de Eucharistia”, the idea came to have the celebration of the Mass of all time in the Basilica and to present the request to the archbishop, Mgr. Marc Ouellete, as such as he had just a little while ago obtained his new functions and that, coming from Rome, he should be well aware of the new orientations of Rome about liturgical matters...
This idea materialized. In the name of his confreres, Father Paul Aulagnier, on a sabbatical year in this country, presented this demand. He made it known in Rome, to the office of the Congregation of the Clergy, presided by the same Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos. Rome supported the demand.
And thus, quietly and rightly, on July 21, 2003, at 10 o’clock in the morning, Father Paul Aulagnier, accompanied by the lay person in charge of the pilgrimage, in the rooms of the Archdiocese, received the permission: to celebrate the Mass of all time in the basilica of Saint Anne. This venture was made neither in the name of ecumenism nor in the name of some liberal gestures coming from the weakness of authority, but by the sole title of “right of citizenship” that was finally granted to the traditional Mass, as Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos liked to say at Saint Mary Major, May 24, 2003.
And this is how more than 600 faithful, for the first time since 10 years, could follow with recollection and piety the holy Mass they loved in the Basilica, in the crypt which strongly resembles the crypt of the Basilica of Saint Teresa of Lisieux.
Saint Anne de Beaupré, Lisieux.
Canadian land. Normand Land. Lands that are close friends. Many of the faithful are part of Honfleur, in Normand land and more particularly form Notre Dame de Grâce, a beautiful chapel of the 17th century which dominates the wide estuary of the Seine, only to rejoin Canada.
It is why, indeed, we can read on one of the walls of the little chapel of Notre Dame de Grâce this inscription:
Notre Dame de Grâce and Saint Anne Normandie, Bretagne, Canada.
Our Lady of Grace, from whom the Word of God was made flesh, had for mother Saint Anne.
For many and long centuries, Bretons and Tisserans, rural Normands, had saint Anne as their patroness. In leaving France for Canada in the XVI and XVII centuries, they made her patroness of their new country.
In 1532, on Mont Saint Michael, by the request of Cardinal Le Veneur, Bishop of Lisieux, Jacques Cartier is designated by Francis the 1st as explorer of the new lands. In 1534, at Gaspé, he takes possession of Canada.
In 1541, party of Saint Malo, Cartier, party of Honfleur, of the Roque de Roberval installs the first Bretons and Normands colonies on the shore of the Saint Lawrence and founded at Beaupré the sanctuary of Saint Anne in 1558.
In 1603, from Pont-Grave, accompanied by Champlain, (founded) part of Honfleur for Canada.
Since 1608,at the departure from Honfleur, Champlain transports all the Bas-Normands in eight trips.
In remembrance of these common bonds, Normands, Bretons and Canadians celebrate Saint Anne every year here.