Culture ~ Religion & St. Anne’s Sunday

The history of St. Anne’s Sunday began in the late 1500s and early 1600s, when French missionaries introduced Catholicism to the Mi’kmaq. During this period, a close relationship had developed between the Mi’kmaq and the French. At this time, Grand Chief Membertou became intrigued by similarities in the symbolism and ritualism used in the Christian religion and those used in traditional Aboriginal spirituality. In 1610 Grand Chief Membertou was baptized at Port Royal and since then, many Mi’kmaq have combined their traditional spirituality with Christianity.

In Biblical text St. Anne was the grandmother of Jesus and the Mi’kmaq people adopted St. Anne as their patron saint. The mission of St. Anne was established at Lennox Island in 1800 with the construction of a log chapel. Its replacement in 1842 was later destroyed in a fire. The present-day church was erected in 1895; the steeple from the old church mounted with a cross was placed in an adjacent cemetery.