Scarce Bronze Antique Medal of Sainte Anne d’Auray – Basilica

This classically styled bronze medal of "the other St. Anne" is outstanding for its crisp details and rich, mahogany-colored patina. From the late 1800s, it features a beveled coin edge surrounding the regal mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus wearing a high, pointed crown and sumptuous pleated gown. Of special note is the large choker bearing the Sacred Heart of Jesus and transpierced Immaculate Heart of Mary. A long rosary is also looped around her neck.

To her left is the young Mary, looking older and wiser beyond her years. Also draped with a large rosary, she holds one hand over her heart while emphatically pointing to the heavens. Her striking pose reminds me of the Statue of Liberty and Leonardo da Vinci's famous depiction of St. John the Baptist.

On the verso is an exquisitely rendered image of the Basilica of St. Anne d'Auray in French Brittany. Of course it is beautiful to the naked eye but you will be amazed at the level of detail revealed under magnification. Every brick is clearly and concisely rendered as are the lintels, arches, rose windows, the fantastic spires and even the roof. Not as good as being there, but close as many of us will get. Beneath the sanctuary is the word "Depose," which is akin to a trademark.

Upon becoming Christian in the sixth century, the people in French Brittany built a sanctuary in honor of St. Anne in a small village near the town of Auray. The first chapel was destroyed by the end of the seventh century, its memory sustained through tradition and by affectionately calling the town "Keranna," or "Village of Anne." Then in 1624-1625, St. Anne appeared frequently to Yves Nicolazic and many other witnesses, commanding him to rebuild the ancient chapel. Word of the apparitions spread rapidly throughout Brittany and when the Bishop finally assented to building a chapel, it was quickly enriched with many gifts, including a thirteenth century relic of St. Anne brought from Jerusalem.

Pilgrimages grew more numerous over the years and indeed, even the Revolution did not stop them. Although the chapel was plundered and the Carmelites who served it driven out, the faithful still flocked to the chapel and covered it with ex-votos. In 1866, the first stone of the present basilica was laid and blessed and in 1868, Pius X crowned the statue of St. Anne in honor of the many miracles attributed to it.

It was hard to capture the details of this antique religious medal due to its dark color, but I have no doubt it will captivate and inspire your devotion. An outstanding addition to any collection that comes boxed and ready for gift-giving.

Weight – 10 grams

Dimensions – 1-3/8 x 1-1/8 inches

Item ID: MDL2445

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