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Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal

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St. Joseph's Oratory
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St. Joseph's Oratory

The Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal, called Saint Joseph's Oratory, is a Roman Catholic basilica on the northern slope of Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

In 1904, Brother André (Alfred Bessette) began the construction of a small chapel on the side of the mountain near Notre Dame College. Soon, it became much too small. Even though it was enlarged, in 1917, a church was built, called the crypt, with a seating capacity of 1,000. In 1924, the construction of the basilica was inaugurated; it was finally completed in 1967. The Oratory's dome is the second-largest of its kind in the world after Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, and the church is the largest in Canada.

The basilica is dedicated to Saint Joseph of Nazareth, to whom Brother André credited all his supposed miracles. These were mostly related to some kind of healing power, and many pilgrims (handicaped, blind, ill, etc.) flooded to his Basilica, including numerous Protestants. On display in the basilica is a wall covered with thousands of crutches from those he supposedly healed. Pope John Paul II recognized the authenticity of the miracles and beatified Brother André in 1982.

Missing image
St-josephs-original-chapel.jpg
The original chapel built by Brother Andre

A reliquary in the church museum contains Brother André's heart, which he requested as a protection for the basilica.

More than 2 million visitors and pilgrims visit the Oratory ever year. It is located at 3800, chemin Queen Mary, at chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges (Côte-des-Neiges metro station).

On October 19th, 2004, the oratory held its 100th anniversary. All the bells of all the churches on the island of Montreal were supposed to ring at 9:00 a.m.. Unfortunately, not everyone heard the sound because not all the churches participated. At 9:05 a.m., the basilica rang its bell in response and celebration.

The Oratoire in popular culture

The 1989 movie Jésus de Montréal uses the Oratoire as its principal set-piece.

See also

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