Montreal, Canada: Saint Joseph’s Oratory
About Brother Andre:
Saint Joseph is the patron saint of Canada, and his shrine, Saint Joseph’s Oratory, near Montreal is the culmination of the wishes of Brother Andre Bessette. Brother Andre was born in 1845, orphaned at 15, and became a lay brother of the Holy Cross order at the age of 25. Due to his poor health he was assigned fairly minimal duties, but as he began to visit the sick, he gained a reputation for healing.
How often do we see the humble beginnings of future saints? It seems that many are looked upon as just barely acceptable and later turn out to be spiritual giants. This was certainly the case with Brother Andre (now Saint Andre).
As a result of his efforts, he raised enough money to build a small wooden chapel where he could continue his healing ministry, and gained a reputation throughout not only Canada but all the world.
Many healings were credited to his prayers up until his death in 1937 and many thereafter as well. He attributed all of the healings through the intercession of Saint Joseph.
Brother Andre was canonized in 2010 and now known as Saint Andre Bissette. We celebrate his Feast Day on January 6 (January 7 in Canada). You can find a great selection of Saint Andre medals here.
About Saint Joseph’s Oratory:
The Basilica built in his honor sits on the highest point in Montreal and has the largest dome of any church other than Saint Peter’s Basilica, and seats over 1,000 people. It is a popular site of pilgrimage to this day, with over 2 million visitors each year.
The grounds contain some magnificent gardens with outdoor Stations of the Cross. Inside the Basilica is a small museum and also the preserved heart of Saint Andre. There are gift shops in three locations on the grounds as well as a cafeteria.
You can also make arrangements to stay at the the John XXIII Pavilion, located at the foot of Mount Royal.
There are several Masses every day, some in English and most in French. There are also a few Masses in Spanish. There are special Masses for the sick, confession, and recitation of the Rosary. Check their website for the full schedule.
Traveling to Saint Joseph’s Oratory:
Address: 3800 Chemin Queen Mary, Montréal, QC H3V 1H6
GPS coordinates: 45° 29′ 31.8192” N, 73° 37′ 0.9984” W
Tel: (+1) 514 733-8211
Click here for the official website of Saint Joseph’s Oratory.
1. Saint Joseph’s Oratory (photos with permission).
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