Anne des Lacs a rual shrine built about 1923 by Frence - speaking
Catholics on Lake St. Anne, this lake is located about 6 miles east of
Lake Wales, Florida and 1 1/2 miles south of S.R.60. It was built of
stone which was a rarely used building material in Florida. The Shrine
included a church and an elaborate set of statuary which made up the
stations of the cross, and were spread throughout the surrounding woods
on trails. A statue of St. Anne stood in the lake itself on a raised
Pilgrimages were made to the shrine and thousands of people visited it, they crowded the little road from the highway to the lake. The shrine was de-sanctified by the Diocese of St. Augustine in the 1960's , and most of the shrine was removed to prevent vandalism.
The story of the shrine goes like this;
A man from Canada,( believed to be Napoleon Pelletier ) came to Florida with his very sick son. His son had been diagnosed as terminally ill. While traveling in Florida, they came upon the little lake at what is now St. Anne's. They swam and camped and the boys condition improved, he was cured. His healing was attributed to the healing waters, so this man single-handedly built a shrine to St. Anne, a Canadian saint associated with water, in an oak hammock next to the lake. The Catholic Church eventuallt demolished most of the church, leaving only the alter some stone walls and the original steps of the church.
IN MEMORY OF:
NAPOLEON PELLETIER - BORN IN CANADA IN 1857 - ZEALOUS PROPAGATOR OF THE DEVOTION TO STE. ANNE IN FLORIDA, GRATEFUL FOR HIS PIETY AND GENEROSITY. HIS FELLOW CITIZENS ARE HIS DEBTORS FOR THIS SANCTUARY
( STE. ANNE SHRINE ) WHICH HE BUILT AND MAINTAINED HIMSELF.
HE DIED AND WAS BURIED HERE
MARCH 7, 1942