By Dave Jolivet, Editor

FALL RIVER — St. Anne Shrine in Fall River will celebrate for the 149th time, the feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim, grandparents of Jesus, on July 26. The feast day Mass, Benediction, prayers and Eucharistic procession is the culmination of an annual Novena that began July 17 and ends Sunday, July 25 

Through the hard work and dedication of the St. Anne Shrine Preservation Society, the tradition that began in the Fall River shrine a century-and-a-half ago continues to celebrate the life and ministry of Good St. Anne, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Statue of St. Anne and the Blessed Mother in St. Anne Shrine in Fall River.

This year, the Novena and feast fall on the same weekend that Pope Francis designated as the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. The St. Anne celebration consists of nine days of prayer, Masses, Eucharistic Adoration, Novena devotions, and the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

On July 25, the Novena continues in the Shrine, located in the lower level of St. Anne Church, 818 Middle Street in Fall River, at 6 p.m. with the Rosary and Confessions; a Mass celebrated by Father Andre Feain at 6:30 p.m., F.I.; followed by a Spiritual talk by Father Feain and Novena devotions at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, July 24, Father André Patenaude, M.S., from La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, and a Fall River native, will celebrate a Mass in French at 11:30 a.m.

At 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 25, World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, a healing service will be offered by Shrine chaplain, Father Edward A. Murphy. At 6 p.m. that evening, Father Feain will conclude the Novena and open the feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim.

On July 26, the feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim, the Shrine will open at 8 a.m. and remain open all day for personal and private devotions. Formal devotions will take place at 2 and 3 p.m., followed by Vespers at 4 p.m.

The Solemn Mass for the feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim will be celebrated by Bishop Edgar A. da Cunha, S.D.V. at 6 p.m.

Following the Mass, the celebration will conclude with Benediction and a procession with the Blessed Sacrament and relics of St. Anne.

“As a sign of special favor, the Holy See’s Apostolic Penitentiary has granted a Plenary Indulgence for the entire month of July under the usual conditions (visit to the Shrine, Sacramental Confession, worthy reception of the Eucharist, prayers for the Holy Father’s intentions) to pilgrims to the Shrine,” Bryan Boyle, O.P., Shrine Sacristan, told The Anchor

All area faithful are invited and encouraged to attend any or all of the Novena/celebration events, following in the footsteps of countless others who have taken part for nearly 150 years.

For more information, contact St. Anne Shrine at 508-678-1510, email, visit their website at:, or stop by the Shrine gift shop during posted business hours.