October 5, 2014

Pilgrimage to St. Anne's Chapel

Anne is the glorious tree from which bloomed a twig under Divine influence. She is the sublime Heaven from whose heights the Star of the Sea neared its rising. She is the blessed barren woman, happy mother among mothers, from whose pure womb came forth the shining temple of God, the sanctuary of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of God!

On September 9th, we had a most beautiful and wonderful pilgrimage to St. Anne's Chapel which was dedicated on the Feast of St. Anne, July 26, 1928. Interestingly, Eastern Churches keep a collective feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne on the 9th of September.

The chapel is located behind St. Luke's parish in Plain, WI.
This painting on the wall in the Church shows the little St. Anne's chapel up on the hill (upper right), the parish in Ast, Germany (upper left) where the painting of Our Lady of Ast (see details below) came from, and the Parish church (bottom right).  At least, that is my understanding of the building in the upper left.
This is the parish church.

We gathered outside the parish. We had a nice number of people who joined us.
Our priest at our parish lead the pilgrimage.
We put the boys to work hauling all the items we would need for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a wagon... along with a keyboard (organ).  We know how to travel!

He began by giving us the Blessing of Pilgrims (that is people who make a pilgrimage, not thanksgiving-style pilgrims)

On the way up the hill we stopped and said the Stations of the Cross and sang a hymn.  While walking between the Stations we said the Rosary.

The sign claims it is 1/4 mile to the Chapel. I believe that is if you were to take an elevator straight up into the sky, that the hill is that high.  Otherwise it is by far the longest 1/4 mile I have ever marched.  Or... maybe it said 1.4 miles. I just know that it is a long distance, especially with a 32 pound fatling on your back.
We couldn't have had a more beautiful day (that was predicting rain). It was a gorgeous brilliant day with upper 70's degree weather.

Because of the wagon we had to move the twirly-gig that was used to keep cattle in or out. I am not sure. But judging by some of the "signs", I believe they have been on both sides of the fence.

We adore Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, and bless Thy Holy Name.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
It was about this point that we abandoned the jogging stroller. And yes, it was steep.

2 boys were huffing and puffing to push the wagon.

Other boys were carrying toddlers, but at the point that I saw them in our group I was huffing and puffing and forgot to take a pictures.
The first sighting of the chapel.

The final Station.
The back of the chapel.

The chapel was absolutely beautiful! St. Aloysius is on the left and St. Charles Borromeo is on the right.  The beautiful stained glass winders were from the Bishop's chapel when this church was in the LaCrosse diocese (or something like that)
Lovely little high altar and Communion rail. Our Lady of Perpetual Help statue on the left and Therese the Little Flower on the right. St. Anne and Our Blessed Mother in the center and the Infant of Prague at the end of the Communion rail.
St. Francis of Assisi.
St. Anthony of Padua
The boys preparing the altar and vestments for Mass.
Our wonderful organist and children's choir sang for the Mass for Pilgrims and Travelers.  Interestingly, back in the day when the Traditional Latin Mass was the only Mass said in the Roman Rite, all priests knew how to sing the various parts of the Mass including the Epistle and Gospel. Nowadays, this isn't the case, most priests haven't been trained in the singing of the parts of the Mass so a man by the name of Michel Ozorak has been writing out the chants for priests the various Masses said in the Church. The Mass for Pilgrims and Travelers was not yet done, so he completed this Mass just for us to use for the first time on our pilgrimage!  The children's choir sang the Propers from the Liber Usualis.
Gradual:  If I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils: for Thou art with me, O Lord. Thy rod and Thy staff: they have comforted me. Psalm 22:4
Sam and Frodo preparing to serve... along with our friend Prince Charming.

My Lord and My God!
My Lord and My God!

We concluded the Mass with the Litany of St. Anne.

This picture which hangs on the wall of the chapel is of Our Lady of Ast, a painting which came from Ast Germany.  It says "Mother of God from Ast, never abandon us."

The following information about Our Lady of Ast is taken from HERE, please take the time to read it in its entirety, it is very interesting!

The legend tells of a countess from the castle Schwarzenwihrberg (near Rötz) who traveled on a hot summer day from Bohemia (Šumava) to the Oberpfalz. On the way, the horses of the carriage became tormented by flies and mosquitoes and veered off the road. It was feared the carriage would be demolished as the horses began to run out of control over meadows and fields. In her distress, the countess called upon God and the Virgin Mary for help. She promised Our Lady that, in her honor, a chapel would be built at the site where journey would end happily. Suddenly the horses stopped
safely on a small hill. The countess gave orders to begin the building of a new church.

While cutting trees for lumber for the new church, workers discovered a picture of the Mother of God with Child on the branch of a tree. This branch was then built into the church, and the church was given the name "Zu unserer lieben Frau von Ast" (To our dear Lady of Ast) "Ast" in English means "branch." The miraculous picture took a place of honor inside the new church. For many years, people made pilgrimages to the church in Ast.

In 1576, Calvinists took over the parish at Ast, and all of the Catholic parishioners needed to belong to the Calvinist religion. Because they didn't agree with Calvinism, farmers often refused to pay taxes to the Calvinists. It was in 1616, still during the Calvinist time, when the original miraculous image from the 1409 legend was destroyed by Calvinists along with other paintings. Altars were moved out of the church, and organ music ceased. Crosses were broken and metal items were melted, including candle holders and the monstrance.

After Reformation in 1626, the church at Ast was once again Catholic. Because of the Thirty Years' War (from 1618 to 1648), it was a long time until pilgrimages returned to Ast. In 1665, the church was remodeled, and about 1720-1730 a baroque altar was installed.

Another item associated with the legend of 1409 was a horseshoe found in a swamp from one of the runaway horses. The horseshoe, representing the frightened horses of the countess, was placed over the door in the church at Ast.

Kili was very interested in the incensor.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help

I have a fascination for old pews.  People were of much more rugged make than people are today, probably due to all the natural suffering they had on a day-to-day basis, unlike today where we are very pampered.

On the way down the hill we sang a hymn to Our Lady of Lourdes.

We stopped at the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and said a prayer.  From what (little) I understand there are sparklies that came from the stained glass windows when the church was destroyed by a tornado.
Oh, ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick,  Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with Mercy. When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favors, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual  and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. 
My loving Mother, obtain my  request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share  your company and bless  you in eternity. Amen

We concluded with the final prayers for the Blessing of Pilgrims.

Anna, do not be afraid, for thou shalt conceive, and bear a child, Mary, Mother of God.

Afterwards we celebrated with a potluck lunch at the local park.
We had a shared birthday with Eowyn and a friend.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about this pilgrimage! It was great and highly recommended. I am sorry for all those who had to miss it as it was truly a blessing!

More pictures to come when I receive the pictures from the photographer who was there.

And blessed be thy sweet mother, Anne, from whom thou didst assume thy virginal flesh.
To St. Anne, God has given the power to aid in every necessity, because Jesus, her Divine Grandchild according to the flesh, will refuse her no petition, and Mary, her glorious daughter, supports her every request. Those who venerate good St. Anne shall want for nothing, either in this life or the next.
Abbot Trithemius b.1462A.D.


  1. If my memory serves...the unnamed statue is St. Charles Borromeo.

  2. Thank you Julie! I planned to go but was sick. Your pictures and words touch my heart.