Saint Anne is Mary's mother, known by Tradition through a 2nd century apocryphal book, the Protoevangelium of James. Therefore she is Jesus' grandmother.
Origin of the shrine*
From September 1623 to April 1625, then one last time on May 13, 1645, Yves Nicolazic (1591-1645), whose cause for beatification is underway, was a "pious and obedient" peasant, married to Guillemette Le Roux. Yves affirmed that he had an apparition of Saint Anne who led him to the locality of Bocenno, where he discovered an old statue of Saint Anne. This statue has been known to seemingly grant miracles.
On July 5, 1624, the apparition said to him: "I am Anne, Mary's mother."
She added: "God wants me to be honored here."
On June 24, 1625, a deaf child was cured.
From 1625 to 1684, 1,277 miracles were officially recognized. The shrine is entrusted to the Carmelite friars. A brotherhood of Saint Anne was founded, changed into an archiconfrery by Pius IX on May 14, 1870.
Shrine of Saint Anne today
This pilgrimage attracts more than 500,000 visitors annually. The shrine was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1996.
*Adapted from Patrick SBALCHIERO, « Sainte Anne d'Auray », dans : René LAURENTIN et Patrick SBALCHIERO, Dictionnaire encyclopédique des apparitions de la Vierge. Inventaire des origines à nos jours. Méthodologie, prosopopée, approche interdisciplinaire, Fayard, Paris 2007.