St. Anne was named by the Vatican as the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Detroit. We honor the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayerfully ask for her intercession.
One may pray to any saint for any intention, but a patron saint is seen as the particular advocate for a chosen place or activity.
St. Anne is the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Though she is not mentioned by name in the Bible, we know of her through early Christian writings, the most important of which is the Protoevangelium of James, written in about 150 A.D.
We are told that Anne, the wife of Joachim, was advanced in years before her prayers for a child were answered. An angel appeared and told her she would conceive a child who "shall be spoken of in all the world."
St. Anne's feast day is celebrated on July 26. She is known as the patron saint of equestrians, housewives, women in labor, cabinet-makers, and miners.
Devotion to St. Anne became popular in the Christian East by the fourth century, and that tradition later spread to the Christian West. When the French began to colonize modern-day Quebec, they brought their devotion to St. Anne with them—asking for her protection in the New World.
This devotion was planted on the banks of the Detroit River by the original French-Canadian settlers. Two days after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac landed with 51 others in what is now downtown Detroit on July 24, 1701, they celebrated Mass and began construction of a church named after Saint Anne.
Today, Ste. Anne de Detroit Church is the second oldest continually operating parish in the United States. As is now recognized by the Holy See, the church of Detroit was placed under St. Anne's protection from its very founding.
Vatican decree declaring St. Anne the patroness of Detroit
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Prot. N. 57/10/L
Unofficial English Translation
The name of St. Anne, mother of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of whom Christian tradition has preserved the memory, which, carried through millennia, has never receded from the prayers and hearts of the faithful. Particularly, from the earliest times of the evangelization of the Archdiocese of Detroit until the present, countless of the Christian faithful have cultivated devotion to St. Anne in each generation and continually pursued devotion to her even to this day.
Hence, the Most Excellent and Reverend, Allen Henry Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, attending to the common desire of the faithful, in a letter dated Jan. 15, 2010, after carefully recalling, confirming and approving these things, consulted the Apostolic See concerning the patronage of St. Anne for the same archdiocese, and asked that it be strengthened by the patronage of St. Anne, appropriately to be observed in the future, as it has already been sought for so many years and with great spiritual fruit, unchanged and undiminished.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in virtue of the faculty given by the Sovereign Pontiff Benedict XVI, seeing that the Patronage of St. Anne in the Archdiocese of Detroit has been observed to the provisions of the law, and has continued without interruption for many years and still remains firm, assents to the stated request, acknowledges and announces:
Saint Anne, mother of Blessed Virgin Mary, is established from time immemorial patroness before God of the Archdiocese of Detroit with all the attendant liturgical rights and privileges according to the rubrics.
Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.
Given at the office of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, on Feb. 22, 2011, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, Apostle.
Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera
Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, OP