The miraculous statue of Sainte-Anne-de-Yamachiche
Raising of the miraculous statue:
It all began when “the beautiful statue on the portico of the church of Machiche (Yamachiche) was raised and placed in honor of the good Saint Anne on Saturday, the 14th day of July 1832, after a high mass sung in her honor. The litanies were sung before the blessing and repeated after the blessing while the assistants, numbering 140 people in the vicinity, went in turn to kiss her feet, and at her elevation from the ground, it was sung with joy O Sancta Anna three times repeated, and she was raised and placed in her place with ease.”
In 1843, the parish priest received a relic of St. Anne that was reputed to be miraculous and came from Carcassone, France.
The typhus epidemic in 1863:
In 1856, a typhus epidemic ravaged much of the Canadian population. The parish of Sainte-Anne-de-Yamachiche was not spared either. The epidemic was such that people had to live in almost total confinement. The scourge had carried away every last one of their inhabitants. “In 1863, the same fevers threatened to start their ravages again in a way that was more terrible than ever. The parishioners could not have recourse to medicine, human means being impotent in the midst of such a disaster, so they turned with confidence to their august patroness. The church was crowded with a prayerful and imploring crowd, and a solemn High Mass was sung in honour of the good Saint Anne. After this memorable Mass the fevers had completely disappeared. Those who had been struck felt better; they recovered in a short time, and above all there was not a single other victim” (c.f. Histoire de la paroisse d’Yamachiche, by Father Napoléon Caron, chapter 13).
The miracles of July 26, 1876:
On his feast day, July 26, 1876, in the midst of an extraordinary crowd of people, three sudden healings were performed one after the other, all three at the feet of the old gilded wooden statue.
“A sick man was suffering from a very serious swelling in one hand; he felt healed while he was praying, so he took off the cloth from his hand and placed it in front of the statue.
“A young Lesage from the Rivière-du-Loup (now Louiseville) had come to Yamachiche with his eyes covered with a double blindfold. He had so much pain in his eyes that the little light that passed through the first blindfold was enough to make him suffer enormously. His two blindfolds remained at the feet of Saint Anne. He could see well and no longer felt any pain.
“A young lady Toupin, from the parish of St. Justin, was paralytic. At the second blow beyond Mass, the crowd that had already filled the church saw her come out, dragging herself painfully on crutches and with the help of a charitable person.
She walked towards the statue, and said aloud with an irresistible accent of faith: “Great and good Saint Anne, you must heal me; I give you this crutch and keep it;” rising immediately, she cried out: “I am healed!” People are moved, they cry with joy around her, everyone wants to see her with their own eyes. She walks with a firm step, returns to the church, passes again through the amazed, electrified crowd, and prostrates herself before the altar of St. Anne to thank her.
The 1957 fire:
On July 11, 1957, the second church in Yamachiche was destroyed in a fire while workers were repairing it. In the midst of the flames, the wooden statue of St. Anne that perched on the facade of the church fell on its feet, but remained in perfect condition. Following this miracle, the villagers decided to place the statue in the cemetery next to the new church, where pilgrims continue to come to venerate it.