Lac St. Anne Pilgrimage opened with a pipe ceremony and flag ceremony followed by a mass on July 22, and ran until today, with a closing mass.
First called Wakamne or God’s Lake and Manito Sahkahigan or Spirit Lake, Lac St. Anne is the site of the annual Lac St. Anne Pilgrimage. It’s a tradition that dates back more than 120 years. Many who visit the lake experience miracles and leave behind baggage that slow them down, Father Jacques Johnson told Windspeaker.com in 2011. Pilgrims make the journey in faith to seek blessing from God.
The pilgrimage is a spiritual event and a social one with families making the voyage over generations.
In our 2011 article, Michelle Borowiecki writes, “The Ste. Anne mission was almost shut down in 1887. It was then that Father Lestanc made a trip to the shrine of Ste. Anne in France and felt a powerful message that he should not shut down the mission, but build a shrine in honor of Jesus’s grandmother Ste. Anne, and create a place where pilgrims could come and receive spiritual help. The pilgrimage was born in 1889.”
Sandra Crowfoot, a photographer with Windspeaker.com attended this year’s blessing of the lake on July 23. Many people waited to enter the lake and receive a blessing by the priest, including Russell Evans and family. Mr Evans is paralyzed and was carried into the lake by his family so he could be blessed. He is looked after by his family.