The first records of the sanctuary date back to the 17th century, when the dean of Petra commissioned in 1606 a small shrine on the summit of the puig (mountain) of Bonany, previously known as puig d’en Burguès and puig de Maria. The church is built in a historicist style with neo-Baroque touches. It was built between 1920‑1925 on a Baroque temple (1697-1919), with the exception of the façade of the atrium. This first façade, which corresponds to the hall of the temple, has a curved portal adorned with the coat of arms of Petra and the date of construction (1789). The structure is topped by a parapet that protects the roof on which the top part of the façade of the oratory (designed by Antoni Giménez Vidal) itself is supported. There is a rose window crowned by the coat of arms of Bonany and two side towers. The drawings of the temple were authored by hermit Agustí de la Mare de Déu del Carme, who collaborated with Antoni de la Mare de Déu de Lorda.
The floor plan of the building is in the shape of a Latin cross, with no side chapels and with a tribune at the foot. The roof is a barrel vault with lunettes, divided into three aisles and with a dome at the transept. The wall of the nave has two composite order pilasters on each side. The transept has four grooved columns that are connected to their corresponding pendentives.
The chancel is used to worship the image of the Virgin (Mare de Déu) of Bonany, a wood carving of a seated figure placed in the centre of a niche with a Baroque altarpiece. The main altarpiece was originally in the Petra parish church and was restored in 1941 by Bartomeu Abad. It shows the images of Saint Paul the First Hermit, Saint Anthony the Abbot and, at the top, Saint Catherine Thomas. On the arms of the transept there are the images of Saint Joseph, on the right, and the Saint Christ, on the left. On the Epistle side there are the images of Saint Sebastian and Saint John the Baptist. On the Gospel side there are the images of Saint Barbara and Saint Michael. The altarpiece of Saint Gabriel and the Nativity are under the tribune.
The sanctuary has an area devoted to lodging (1917), with cells and services for pilgrims. Between 1896 and 1990, the sanctuary was run by the hermits of Saint Paul and Saint Anthony. Nowadays, it is under the responsibility of a series of ‘donats’ (unprofessed brothers devoted to community services).
The ‘fonteta de la Mare de Déu’ (Fountain of the Virgin) is on the eastern side of the ‘puig’. When hermits reached Bonany, the fountain was nothing more than a sump, and they built a series of pipes and terraces to improve the vegetable patches. They built a cave of stones in 1915, and then placed a sandstone image of the Virgin, with stalactites from the cave of en Tugores. The popular tradition about the origin of the Virgin of Bonany coincides with the frequent story of the ‘Verge trobada’: Christians hid the image within a cave during the period of Arab domination, and it was found by a shepherd after the Catalan conquest.