26 July is the feast day of Sainte Anne, Jesus's grandmother.
The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-d'Auray in Brittany is the third most popular pilgrimage site in France, after Lourdes and Lisieux.
Anyone here on the forum have any experience to share about the area -- lodging and dining recommendations, etc.?
Anne is patroness of housewives, women in labor or who want to be pregnant, grandmothers, mothers, and educators. She is also a patroness of horseback riders, cabinet-makers, and miners. As the mother of Mary, this devotion to Saint Anne as the patron of miners arises from the medieval comparison between Mary and Christ and the precious metals silver and gold. Anne's womb was considered the source from which these precious metals were mined. Saint Anne is also said to be a patron saint of sailors and a protector from storms. This gives her some overlap with my personal fave, Santa Barbara, patroness of jobs that involve explosives and loud noises.
I can't help but imagine how Anne felt about her daughter's encouragement of Jesus' non-cabinetry-related aspirations. Between her and Mary's husband, Joseph, the pressure of a bubbe on her grandchild to pursue a practical trade in the family line rather than a career with a lot of public speaking and political controversy must have been considerable. It makes me that much more curious about what ever became of Jesus' younger brother, who went into church administration rather than carpentry.
Vannes, at least, certainly seems like it's worth a visit, yes? Medieval walls, etc.