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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Connections: France, Quebec, Highland Heights

For more than 300 years St. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec City has been a place where healing miracles occurred.

One of the reasons I am so enamored of travel is that it overlaps every aspect of life and also my writing for the News-Herald.

Example: In my quest to make recommendations for a friend's three city road trip between Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, I remembered my last trip to Quebec City which included a visit to St. Anne de Beaupre, a large church just outside the city which is known for amazing cures of  blindness and crippling diseases.(see photo) It dates from the 1600s and has relics of St Anne, the grandmother of Jesus. Relics are pieces of bone and it is those relics that are credited with the many cures, which have been documented through the years.

Because I also write stories for the newspaper's religion page, I was was working on a story about the St. Ann's Shrine in Highland Heights, where another relic of St. Ann resides. It will be venerated in a three day celebration next week at the local church. (See Saturday's Religion page)

Turns out the bone from St. Ann's forearm came from another bone that was among three St. Ann relics at the Quebec church, so I thought I would do a little digging (pardon the pun) to find out where they came from originally. After all, St Anne must have lived an awfully long time ago to be the mother of Mary and the grandmother of Jesus.

Carcassonne is an ancient French city I'm writing about for Travel from which a relic of St. Anne was brought to St. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec in 1670.

Research on several different websites revealed that the first relic of St. Ann came to the Quebec church from Carcassonne, an amazing walled city in France (see photo here)  that I visited a month ago and which I am also in the process of writing about for the Aug. 12 travel section. But the St Ann relic at the local shrine came by way of Rome, where it was housed in a church called St Paul Outside the Walls, begun long ago by the Emperor Constantine near the Vatican.

To me these connections are nothing short of amazing, but, in truth, they happen all the time.

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