The Basilica was built to honour St. Anne, the patroness of Brittany, who appeared to Yves Nicolazic during the years 1624-5. The apparitions were approved by the Local Ordinary and pilgrimages, known locally as pardons began. The Basilica was particularly favoured by Queen Anne of Austria and her husband, Louis XIII, especially by the donation of a relic of the Saint brought from the Holy Land during the Crusades, and the sponsorship of the erection of a Confraternity of St. Anne there. The miraculous statue of St. Anne was publicly burnt at Vannes during the Revolution. The Shrine continued to be popular in spite of athiestical machinations and reached its zenith during the reign of Blessed Pius IX, who raised to Confraternity to an Archconfraternity, commanded the image of St. Anne to be crowned, once the new Basilica, begun in 1866, was complete, and donated the High Altar.
C'est notre mère à tous;
mort ou vivant, dit-on,
A Sainte-Anne, une fois,
doit aller tout Breton.
The ceremony was performed on 4th July, 2009, by Mgr Ennio Appignanesi, the Archbishop Emeritus of Potenza-Muro Lucano-Marsico Nuovo in Italy, who had just celebrated his 84th birthday and will celebrate the 60th anniversary of his own ordination early next year. In May last, Archbishop Appignanesi, who is a Canon of St. Peters Basilica, ordained three members of the IBP to the Subdiaconate in the Church of Santa Lucia in Rome.