SHOULD Paul come forth from his grave and visit the shrine of “Good St. Anne of Beaupré,” near the city of Quebec, Canada, his spirit would again be stirred within him as “he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.” He would not see the “temple of the great goddess Diana,” but the temple of the “valiant,” “invincible,” “blessed,” “holy,” “glorious St. Anne,” “Mother of the Queen of Angels,” “Mother of the Mother of God.” Instead of hearing Demetrius and his fellow-craftsmen shouting for “the space of two hours,” “Great is Diana of the Ephesians,” he would find the people saying, day and night, “O good, O glorious, O pious, O merciful, O incomparable Mother Anne.” Instead of beholding the people prostrate before the shrine of the “goddess Diana,” he would see them kneeling before a gilded statute of “St. Anne” imploringly saying, “Grant, O Good St. Anne, that henceforth I may show myself more worthy of thee, so that, one day, I may be united to thee in heaven.” He would see the people crowding the marts of the church buying, not the “Holy Scriptures which,” as Paul wrote to Timothy, “are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus,” but memorial beads, chains, medals, rings, books, and images of “Good St. Anne” with which, through faith in St. Anne, they hope for protection from the ills of this life and “eternal glory through her intercession.”
All this idolatry is practiced by the church claiming to be Christian, to be “the only true church,” the “spouse of Christ,” the “holy Catholic Church.” When the servant of God raises his voice against such apostasies, as of old, its votaries are “full of wrath,” “the whole city is filled with confusion” and, as in the case of the Baptist mission at Quebec on August 7, the servant is stoned and the house of worship wrecked by a Roman Catholic mob.
All this idolatry is sanctioned and encouraged by Pope Leo XIII. in three briefs dated Jan. 28, 1886, Jan. 16, 1887, and May 5, 1887; and a “Pontifical Bull,” dated April 26, 1887. And now this man comes forth with an encyclical letter declaring “we hold the regency of God on earth,” and invites us to return to his idolatrous and blasphemous worship, to the veneration of “a venerable fragment of a finger bone of St. Anne,” and the worship of the “Glorious Mother of the Mother of God,” “the Grandmother of Jesus Christ.” He also sends a “Delegate Apostolic” and assures us that “what the church has done in the past for others she will do for the United States,” that is, what she has done for the Province of Quebec in teaching her poor, deluded, superstitious votaries to pray the following prayer, she promises to do for the people of the United States, and teach them to forsake the “one Mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ,” and divide that place with the woman “St. Anne,” whose “life,” “virtues,” and even “name” “has been left” by the inspired Word of God, “in complete oblivion.”
All the quotations regarding St. Anne, referred to in this article, are from a work entitled “Manual of Devotion to Good St. Anne,” published by General Printing Office, A. Coté & Co., Quebec, 1891, and is indorsed by Cardinal Taschereau, archbishop of Quebec. Read the following cardinal-indorsed prayer to “St. Anne:“—
Praise to St. Anne.
Hail, holy Anne, illustrious daughter of David and descended from a race of kings! The Eternal Father cherishes thee as the Mother of His beloved Daughter and the Grandmother of His divine Son. Hail, holy Anne, the Son of God, the eternal Word loveth thee, because thou didst give Him so pure, so good, so holy a Mother. Hail, holy Anne, worthy spouse of the virtuous Joachim! The Holy Ghost holdeth thee in great esteem, because thou didst give unto Him so worthy, so beautiful, so perfect a Spouse. Hail, holy Anne, Mother of Mary, the immaculate Virgin! The whole court of Heaven beholdeth thee with admiration, because thy happiness surpasseth that of all other mothers. Hail, holy Anne, joy of the Angels! All the blessed spirits hold thee in reverence because thou didst give birth to Mary, their august and gentle Queen. Hail, holy Anne, fruitful vine! All the Saints honor thee as the sacred tree whence sprang that lovely flower who is their delight in Heaven, and that worthy fruit which was their joy during their exile on earth. Hail, holy Anne, valiant woman, invincible fortress! The whole Church celebrates thy praises as the Mother of the spotless Virgin, who has always triumphed over every heresy. Hail, holy Anne, sure help of mankind! The just and the sinner alike invoke thee as their beneficient protectress and their powerful advocate before God. Hail, holy Anne, brilliant star that guideth the shipwrecked to port. The exile and the pilgrim look on thee as their stay and their charitable conductress. Hail, holy Anne, mirror of all virtue, in which all who are called to a higher life find a model of perfection, and all Christians find aid in the accomplishment of their duties. Hail, holy Anne, consoler of the unfortunate! In thee the widow finds support, the orphan a mother, the prisoner deliverance, the sick health, and the dying hope. Hail, holy Anne, help of all who implore thy assistance! Thy intercession is all-powerful with the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and Mary, thy immaculate Daughter, beareth thy petitions to the foot of the throne of our thrice-holy God.
Ejaculation.—Good St. Anne, obtain for me the grace of honoring God in his Saints. Pp. 103-5.
“Come unto me [not ‘grandmother’ Anne] all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.