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St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal

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St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal

In Canada, there are many attractions, including Catholic churches and cathedrals. St. Joseph’s oratorio is one of the most popular sites in Montreal, where tourists and pilgrims seek. This is the Roman Catholic Church, the largest in Canada. Staying in Montreal, be sure to visit this place: it will have a lasting impression on every tourist, whatever his faith.

History of creation

  • 1904 - the beginning of the construction of a small church by brother Andre Bessett: it was originally conceived as a chapel near Notre Dame College
  • 1917 - the size of the church was significantly increased, which allowed accommodating up to 1000 people at a time
  • 1924 - the size of the church was again insufficient, and a decision was made to create a new cathedral
  • 1967 - the completion of the cathedral: this is how we see it today.

The dome deserves special attention - it ranks third in size among domes of this kind. It was designed and built by Paul Bello from 1937 to 1939.

Architectural features

The basilica has a length of 105 meters. Outside, it resembles the style of the European Renaissance, but inside has a modern interior. The height of the dome is impressive: outside - 97 meters, inside - 60 meters. Given that the building is on a hill, the dome rises 155 meters above street level: it has an observation deck that offers a unique view of Montreal.

Other features of Oratorio

The founder of the church, brother Andre, was known among locals and visitors for the gift of healing - each of them was dedicated to St. Joseph by the priest, which served as the name for the basilica. Inside the church, thousands of crutches and other items are kept, with which people came and without which they went home, recovering from illnesses. The Vatican paid special attention to the basilica:

  • Pope John Paul II in 1982 recognized the healings and miracles that the parishioners of the oratorio of St. Joseph spoke of as true
  • In 2010, Pope Benedict XVII canonized Andre.

At the fifth level of the basilica there is a museum where historical, cultural and religious values are collected. The museum regularly organizes art exhibitions: the entrance costs 6.50 CAD $, the museum operates daily except for winter Mondays.

Interesting Facts

  • 2 million people visit the oratorio annually
  • 283 steps lead to the crypt, 99 of which are intended for pilgrims rising to the crypt on their knees
  • In 1989, Canadian director Denis Arcan dedicated the film to the Basilica
  • In 2004, the cathedral received the status of a historical monument.
  • The basilica museum holds the heart of brother Andre - this was his desire to protect the building.



The object belongs to the churches.

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