95th Annual Solemn Novena to St. Ann Begins

SCRANTON, Pa. -- It's the 95th annual Solemn Novena to St. Ann in Scranton.

Up early, Catholic worshippers were inside the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Ann for the first mass of the novena Wednesday.

"This is very holy ground, it's a place of tranquility, I love to just sit and meditate and walk the grounds," said Mary Louise Nape of Taylor.

The novena is a time for prayer and reflection for Catholics, thousands of whom make the pilgrimage for the novena. They believe St. Ann was the grandmother of Jesus Christ.

"Peaceful. It's a peaceful place to be during this 10-day novena. A lot of miracles had happened on this hill. Prayers have been answered and I continue to pray for friends and family. For good health and prosperity and for myself," said Joshua Manuel of Scranton.

This year, as in years past, the heat and humidity are a real concern. Medics are on standby.

"It seems to just come around, I mean the heat, it's going to be 95 and everything but we're used to it. Everything, we got a good crew," said Duke Marullo of Scranton.

The novena continues through July 26, the feast day for St. Ann.

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