The Basilica is a shrine dedicated to Saint Anne. Even if we know very little about the life of Saint Anne, the simple fact of being the mother of Mary and the grandmother of Jesus is sufficient for the Church to recognize and worship her for centuries.

The entire ceiling mosaic of the Basilica describes the life of Saint Anne. It tells the story of her life, the life of a Jewish woman in that era. It speaks of her virtues and glorification.

The shrine has in its possession three notable relics. The first relic (a portion of the bone of Saint Anne's finger) was obtained by the Carcassonne Chapter and brought to the shrine on March 12, 1670 by Bishop François de Laval.

The first major relic arrived at the shrine on July 26, 1892, as a gift from Pope Leo XIII. It is a 4-inch portion of the bone of Saint Anne's forearm. It was obtained from the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, in Rome, and was brought to Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré by Bishop Joseph-Calixte Canac-Marquis (1821-1904). Finally, on July 3, 1960, another major relic of Saint Anne (also from her forearm) was brought to the shrine from the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls; this time, it was a gift from Blessed Pope John XXIII.