For the nine days leading up to July 26, hundreds of people gather at Our Lady of Fatima Parish and its Shrine of St. Anne. The parish, at California Avenue and Pershing Road in the Brighton Park neighborhood, is home to two first-class relics of St. Anne, the mother of Mary, and has hosted novenas leading up to her July 26 feast day for 115 years. Participants can come for morning Mass and the novena service, or afternoon or evening novena services on each of the nine days. Three times during the novena period, including on the feast day, they walk in a candlelit procession through the neighborhood.Why do these pilgrims think St. Anne will answer their prayers?Wayne Smith, who participated in the 2009 novena, put it simply. "St. Anne was the grandmother of Jesus, her grandson. If a grandmother asks her grandson to do something, he will listen."
The St. Anne shrine pictured at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, 2751 W. 38th Place. A novena to St. Anne has taken place at the shrine for 115 year.
Photo: Karen Callaway / Catholic New World