The Passionist monastery in Scranton was in trouble.
The first several years of their new ministry in the Pennsylvanian coal-mining city had gone splendidly. They had only come, at first, to conduct their usual ministry of retreats and missions, but Scranton had taken such a shine to them that they were invited to found a permanent community there. They named it after St. Ann, the mother of Our Lady.
But now the entire enterprise was about to collapse. Literally, collapse.
The problem with coal mining areas is that the earth beneath them—compromised by the subterranean coal tunnels—is subject to dangerous slides and shifts. These can be fatal to the integrity of the buildings above ground.
This problem arose for St. Ann’s, which sat upon a 10-acre plateau known as the “Round Woods.” On August 15th, 1911, great cracks suddenly tore the ground beneath the building. The monastery had survived, but was badly damaged. And then, two years later, another terrestrial shift forced the Passionists to leave.
A major collapse was imminent, experts said.
But the Passionists and the laity who loved St. Ann’s weren’t giving up. On the night of July 28th, 1913, two days after the feast of St. Ann, they prayed together through the night. And then, at dawn…
BOOM! Rumble, roll…what was that noise? Could it be the building collapsing?
No! It was two giant boulders rolling into place to fill the dangerous cracks that had threatened the beloved monastery! The foundations were sturdy again. St. Ann’s was saved!
Don’t believe us? Go see it for yourself. St. Ann’s Monastery and Shrine Basilica (it was named a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997) remains an active community to this day. Each Monday they say a weekly novena to St. Ann and the Passionist saints, and every July 17th–26th, they hold a Solemn Novena in honor of their patroness—a major event attended by thousands of people every year.
Build your foundations on solid rock with a devotion to the powerful mother of Our Lady and grandmother of Our Lord, St. Ann. At The Catholic Company, we crafted a rosary in her honor. We designed it especially for mothers, but it’s the perfect sacramental for anyone devoted to St. Ann. Comprised of beautiful, marbled turquoise-blue agate and Swarovski crystal beads, this lovely piece is finished with a St. Ann centerpiece and Italian crucifix. Order yours today—and be sure to check out our matching rosary bracelet!