St. Anne was named by the Vatican as the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Detroit. We honor the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayerfully ask for her intercession.
One may pray to any saint for any intention, but a patron saint is seen as the particular advocate for a chosen place or activity.
St. Anne is the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Though she is not mentioned by name in the Bible, we know of her through early Christian writings, the most important of which is the Protoevangelium of James, written in about 150 A.D.
We are told that Anne, the wife of Joachim, was advanced in years before her prayers for a child were answered. An angel appeared and told her she would conceive a child who “shall be spoken of in all the world.”
St. Anne’s feast day is celebrated on July 26. She is known as the patron saint of equestrians, housewives, women in labor, cabinet-makers, and miners.
Devotion to St. Anne became popular in the Christian East by the fourth century, and that tradition later spread to the Christian West. When the French began to colonize modern-day Quebec, they brought their devotion to St. Anne with them—asking for her protection in the New World.
This devotion was planted on the banks of the Detroit River by the original French-Canadian settlers. Two days after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac landed with 51 others in what is now downtown Detroit on July 24, 1701, they celebrated Mass and began construction of a church named after Saint Anne.
Today, Ste. Anne de Detroit Church is the second oldest continually operating parish in the United States. As is now recognized by the Holy See, the church of Detroit was placed under St. Anne’s protection from its very founding.