Photo: Hommage to Saint Brother André, on a flagpole in Old Montreal
This man founded Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal on the sheer strength of his faith and character. He was an orphan at 12 years old, poor and uneducated, but he had a gift: he could cure people and give them confidence. To the dismay of his superiors at Notre-Dame College where he was doorman, massive crowds started coming to him to implore his help and for a cure to their ills.
It's on the slope of Mount-Royal, near his College on Queen Mary Road, that his dream church was built. Brother André was canonised on October 18, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. This plain old man who came to be loved by all of Québec was my great-grandfather's cousin.
Or in Francais, L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal. This is an amazing Catholic Shrine. I was very much looking forward to seeing it and it did not disappoint. The observation center in the dome is supposed to be the highest window overlooking Montréal. On Monday - Saturday at 12:15pm and Sundays at 11:15am, Mass is performed in English in the Crypt Church. Just an enormous church and definitely worth visiting.
The dome, at 97 meters, is second in height only to St Peter's in Rome. This huge basilica can accomodate up to 10,000 visitors. Begun in 1904, it was completed in 1967. It's one of the most visited shrines in all of Canada. Pilgrims visit from all over the world to pray and atone for their sins. On the stairs leading up to the basilica, the center section is painted light blue, and is reserved for pilgrims who are ascending to it on their knees. I kid you not--on their KNEES! And I saw two people actually doing this.
Founded by Brother Andre, a humble monk, it contains his heart and other relics along with a museum of its history. The view from the basilica is impressive, and in 2013 a new rooftop observation point will be open to the public.
Take a bus tour of the city. It isn't expensive and you'll get to see the highlights in just over a couple hours. You can always go back and focus your next activities at any of the sites or simply look up information on the internet. Be sure to bring lots of film..or lots of free memory space on your camera!
This is the second important religious place in Montreal after La basilique Notre-Dame and one of the greatest temples of chrisitianity faith in the world.
The oratory was initially built by Brother André to be a place of prayer and became now a destination and attraction for 2 millions people a year.
It is a great building located in the west side of the Mont royal hill, it looks very nice from outside and you should go to the top and see the opposite view of the area. From inside it consists of a church and a small mesuem.
The access to the oratory is easy ..see directiosn below
After spending the morning at Parc du Mont-Royal, we walked the over to the Oratory, an impressive copper domed church sitting on part of Mont-Royal, the largest shrine in the world named after Joseph, father of Jesus and Canada’s patron saint. You may notice that the center aisle of the stairway is blocked off to pedestrian traffic, reserved for pilgrims who come to the Oratory in hopes of a miracle who climb the stairs on their knees. Brother Andre, the founder of the Oratory, was said to have performed many miracles.
If you are just visiting, however, you may want to locate the escalators that we found, naturally, after we were already at the top, there are located inside a small house like structure over to the left side.
The interior of the church at the top is very modern and rather unremarkable and a more modest sized church below that is also unremarkable. You can visit the onsite museum or take a stroll through the garden featuring statues of the 14 stations of the cross.
The Oratory is the highest point in the city of Montreal and there are nice views from the many levels of the structure
Saint Joseph's Oratory is Number One on my list when I visited Montreal for the first time very recently. Being a Catholic, I felt the spirit of being one after a quiet contemplation. This serves as a major site of the Roman Catholic worship and pilgrimage. The basilica is situated on the slope of Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is the largest in Canada and its dome is the second largest in the world. The basilica is a result of the work of Brother Andre who had special devotion towards Saint Joseph. During this time, he became an instrument and made himself available to sick people by receiving visits and and pray for their cure. Pilgrims from all over the world come to participate in the celebrations that is frequently taking place at the Basilica. I believe that this is a "must see" place in Montreal whatever faith or religion you believe in. Please do not miss this unforgettable experience. It is worth a visit. And you will be glad you did!
This immense oratory was built on the site of a church from 1916 in honour of St. Joseph, Canada's patron saint. It's a rather young building, beeing completed only in 1960.
There's a small museum inside dedicated to Brother André who was said to have healing powers.
You can visit the oratory from 6am to 9am. No admission fee.
Excellent views over Montreal from there.
I don't think I had ever been to an Oratory. But this is one of the places people most recommend to visit in Montreal, so there I went!! First, I was crazy enough to climb all the way uphill towards the Oratory; it wouldn't have been such a big deal if I had not started my journey on the east side of Mont Royal, while the Oratory is placed on the west side.... so I had to walk a lot in order to get there. A little piece of advice: if you're not an athlete, don't do this! Catch a damn bus!
After almost 2 hours of continous walking, I finally made it to the Oratory. it is impressive because it's located on top of the hill, so it dominates the surrounding buildings and streets. You have to look upwards - as if looking towards the sky - to see its shape rising from the trees that surround the area it is built on. Then when you're right in front of it you can see a green area on the front and some stairs you still have to climb to reach the church. It reminded me sooooooo much of the Sacre Coeur basilica in Paris!!! The structure is very similar, although the style is different, but still very beautiful.
The inside of the church itself is not impressive or beautiful at all, it's quite simple, but the oratory is something you have to see....
This is the beautiful oratoire St-Joseph. u can walk up all the way to the top. They have a mini catholic museum with nativity scenes from all over the world (well, i couldn't find m'sian work of art there, puzzled..) fyi, as a form of donation they charged $1 per entry for adult. on the way back adjourned to our next destination, we saw some devotees/followers that were "walking" up a couple hundred stairs on their knees while praying. quite impressive.
L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph is not quite as glamorous as the Notre Dame Cathedral, but it's worth a visit if only for the view when you stand in front of the basilica facing toward the city of Montreal. The basilica sits atop Mont Royal (i.e. the top of the hill for which Montreal is named) and is today visited by christian pilgrims of all denominations.
St. Joseph's Oratory is one of the more widely recognized temples of worship in the world. Only two other such temples reside in the very heart of similarly important cities as Montreal: St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and Montmartre's Sacre Coeur in Paris.
This is a monument to the faith of the Quebec people. It is a huge building built on top of a promontory north of the mountain. You will have to climb a lot of stairs! There is a garden dedicated on the top.
Comparable to the "Sacré-Coeur" of Paris, this austere gigantic oratory is the vision of a simple brother: Frère André who's heart is well guarded in the oratory. Started in 1904, finished in 1967, it is sacred to pilgrims who come Easter, climb up its hundred and more stairs on their knees to come and pray where Frère André actually performed miracles. You can visit the original chapel, the votive chapel, the crypt, the basilica and the museum, simply attend the different masses and services or check with its schedule of many concerts and cultural events such as the Christmas exhibition of over 200 nativity scenes from some 50 different countries. If you also want a chance to hear it's 56 bells ensemble, professionaly played, be outside the oratory around 12h00 or 15h00, on Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday at 12h00 and 14h30... Magnificient!
Yup, this is probably on every page about Montreal. It's very commercialized for a church, but it is stunning. The museum inside is also well worth seeing, especially if you are interested in how the Christmas story is represented in various other countries. There are also two large gift shors selling, among other things, camera batteries. Clerks in both stores were very friendly and helpful.
This absolutely stunning cathedral is a must see when you visit Montreal. Besides the beautiful architecture and great views of Montreal, you'll learn about the history of Brother Andre who performed actual, documented miracles.