The Oratory’s archives contain a unique treasure: a collection of 10,000 photographs, taken mainly at the Oratory and dating from 1904 to 1980. Created by the religious of the Congregation of Holy Cross, as part of their duties at the shrine, this collection presents different aspects of the Oratory’s history: the evolution of the site, the life of Brother André, the employees, important visitors, small and large events, etc. These were subdivided into 307 thematic series a few decades ago.
We seem to be on the way out of this long period marked by the pandemic, even if the path remains uncertain and the fear of new waves still present. We have all been affected by this crisis and we understand the importance of healing the wounds caused by these difficult times.
People who suffered from this disease needed medical attention and a shorter or longer healing time. But, all of us need to heal from the isolation, the estrangement, the loss of the landmarks that give direction to our life. We need to experience these moments of brotherhood again: of celebration of life or of support in the ordeal of the death of relatives or friends.
A whole adventure was played out in the pages of the magazine L’Oratoire during the year 1954.
Appointed editor-in-chief of the publication in September 1953, Father Émile Legault, CSC, published an editorial in January 1954 in which he declared that “it is time, more than ever, for a crusade for the rejuvenation of Saint Joseph. Father Legault does not mince his words: speaking of a play he is composing on Saint Joseph1, he expresses the desire to “correct the adulterated image” of Joseph, an image inherited from the theatrical plays of the Middle Ages called the Mistères.2.
Human beings like to intercede for others and also, especially, to be interceded for.
As children, we often asked another sibling to intercede for us with our parents, to obtain a favor or permission.
There are many kinds of prayers. The prayer of adoration, praise, thanksgiving, request, thanksgiving and of course the prayer of intercession.
This prayer of intercession is a very important form of prayer.
The Oratory is part of the Montreal landscape. My father told me that at the age of 10 – which brings us back to 1920 – he had the mumps and that it made him suffer terribly.
Wearily, his mother said: let’s go up to the Oratory to see Brother André. When they arrived, they got in line and she explained to him that her son had the mumps and that it made him suffer a lot. Brother André made a little pout, put both hands on my father’s ears, without touching them. And they leave. My father assures: the pain disappeared in the moment, there was nothing left.
“Saint Brother André, we celebrate your presence among us.” This first sentence of the prayer that is offered “to obtain a special favor” through the intercession of Saint Brother André will resonate in a very special way during the month of August which is dedicated to him. More than an occasion to mark the birthday of the founder of the Oratory, born Alfred Bessette on August 9, 1845, this annual event is an opportunity to celebrate the Friend, the Brother, the Saint who accompanies us today.
The other night I had an amazing dream. I was juggling balls: one was called Father, one was called Pilgrim and one was called Joseph.
The one that first caught my attention was Pilgrim. This word evokes in me all those visitors to the Mount Royal Shrine, where I have been devoting myself for several years now. I have seen them of all colors, of many nationalities, of many cultures, beliefs and religions.
The Oratory Museum is proud to take part in the exhibition Italian Montréal at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum in Montreal. Eleven works from our collection, by artists of Italian origin established in Quebec such as Joseph Guardo, Guido Nincheri, T. Carli and E. Dini & Cie are presented. Here is a glimpse of what you can see between now and January 9, 2022.
Last December, Pope Francis invited us to enter the Year dedicated to Saint Joseph. A little later he invited Christians to a Year of the Family (“Amoris Laetitia Family”) that would begin on the feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2021. I propose a reflection based on these two great moments in the life of the Church.
Mary welcomed the message of the Archangel Gabriel in faith and hope. She participated with the Jewish people in waiting for the Messiah.
For centuries, the prophets had been announcing the coming of the Savior. Mary opens her heart to the Lord, saying that everything happens according to your Word. She surrenders herself to the will of God so that the plan of salvation may be realized. She accepts to be the mother of the beloved Son of the Father.
Saint Joseph is the Patron Saint of families, given his role in the family of Jesus of Nazareth. He is also the Patron of the great spiritual family united in Jesus that is the Church, according to the declaration of Pius IX of December 8, 1870. For the 150th anniversary of this declaration, Pope Francis has designated the current year, which runs from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021, as the Year of Saint Joseph.
With the Risen Jesus-Christ, hope is reborn when we accept that he walks with us, on the road of life. This is what we learn from the experience of the two disciples of Emmaus (Gospel according to Luke, chapter 24, verses 13 to 35).
The encounter of the Risen Christ with the two disciples, pilgrims of Emmaus, is “a therapy of Hope,” Pope Francis said during the General Audience on May 24, 2017.
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