Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Saint Anne and My Return to the Catholic Faith.

My wife and I just returned from a whirlwind 6 day vacation with 3 days spent in the province of Quebec. My primary  goal was to make a pilgrimage to the Basilica Shrine of Saint Anne-de-Beaupre, just north of Quebec City.
     Why Saint Anne de-Beaupre?  About three years ago I heard of the shrine of Saint Anne de-Beaupre for what I thought was the first time and it intrigued me. The name was strangely familiar and I didn't initially realize why. Well about 60 years ago, my mom and dad took their honeymoon in Canada and stopped at the shrine of St. Anne de-Beaupre.  I had long forgotten this but it all came back to me recently including the stories of my dad drinking one cup of coffee after another at the famed Chateau Frontenac because it was so good- until he discovered he was being charged about 7 dollars per refill!  Well, it all the memories did come back to me and the stories my mom told me about the eye patches and crutches and canes left at the shrine as people had received physical healing through the intercession of St. Anne.  Sadly, I couldn't ask my parents about it because they have been long passed away and never lived to see me come back to the Catholic faith, though I am  convinced they are well aware, and  have played a part in it by their prayers from heaven directly to the Father.
    So I toyed with the idea of getting up there but have never made it, until this past week. I had extra vacation time to use so Deborah got on the internet, and planned our pilgrimage to St. Anne de-Beaupre.
As we approached the little town of Beaupre on the Saint Lawrence, I suddenly saw the two great spires reaching up towards the sky. As we got closer I could make out the golden statue of St. Anne holding her daughter, Mary. I never saw a structure so beautiful and huge. I felt a little like Dorothy and the Scarecrow as they approached the Castle in the Wizard of Oz! (Except we weren't scared, but were filled with joy and expectation)
     My heart was in my throat as we walked inside the basilica and I suddenly felt my parents with me. I was walking in the same footsteps they trod 60 years before. As I stared at the crutches, canes and prosthetics  each representing a touch from God, I remembered my mom's stories and  could barely keep from weeping. Then it all came together for me:  I suddenly realized, I came back to the Catholic Church at the parish of St. Anne's in Emmaus, Pennsylvania 7 years ago. I believe that 60 years ago with a hearts full of faith, hope and love, my newlywed parents asked St. Anne to intercede for them that they would raise a faithful Christian family. Though sadly, things unraveled quickly in my parent's life due to alcohol and mental illness, God still heard their prayers and the prayers of Saint Anne as I stood in the same spot, as an answer to their prayers, 60 years later!

Prayer to St. Anne
(To Obtain Some Special Favor)
Glorious St. Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present affair which I recommend to you under your special protection.
Vouchsafe to recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue.
Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. (Here ask for favor you wish to obtain.)
Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face, and with You and Mary and all the saints, praising and blessing Him through all eternity. Amen.
Good St. Anne, mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray to her for us and obtain our request. (Three times).


Blogger Owen said...

Three years ago, June 15-22 I was fortunate to be on a pilgrimage to the full week of the 49th International Eucharistic congress. I can't believe three years have gone by. That shrine was on our itinerary as was St. Joseph's Oratory where I *met* St. Andre Bessette for the first time and for which I am forever grateful. God bless you bro.

June 06, 2011 9:55 PM  
Anonymous russ said...

That is so cool. I thought of you a lot when we were in Canada, but were way too far away to connect.
I too have made good friends with St. Brother Andre! I have had an affinity for St. Joseph since my middle name is Joseph, so becoming acquainted with Saint Brother Andre was so natural.

June 07, 2011 8:30 AM  

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