Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
3800 Queen Mary Road
Montreal (Quebec) Canada, H3V 1H6
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The Bessette family moves to Farnham, Québec. Tragically, Isaac dies, crushed under an axed tree, February 20, 1855. His wife Clothilde dies on November 20, 1857.
OCTOBER 19, 1904
Blessing of an oratory (i.e., a small chapel) built by Brother André, with the help of Brother Abundius, CSC, and a few lay friends.
Successive enlargements of the chapel in August and November
Construction, next to the chapel, of a wooden building housing a lunchroom, a shop offering religious objects, a waiting room, and a small room that Brother André could use as an office.
Chapel’s third expansion.
Chapel’s fourth and final expansion. Inauguration of the first residence for Holy Cross priests and brothers.
The authorities of the Congregation of Holy Cross approve the construction of what would become the future Basilica.
The construction of the crypt church begins.
Inauguration and blessing of the crypt church.
Relocation of the small chapel from its original site.
AUGUST 31, 1924
Blessing of the basilica’s cornerstone before a crowd of approximately 35,000. Brother Andre celebrates the 50th Jubilee of his Final Vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Foundation work begins.
Construction of the Basilica’s lower portion.
Temporary shutdown of construction area due to the economic crisis.
JANUARY 06, 1937
Death of Brother André (born Alfred Bessette, August 9, 1845). For 6 days and nights, over 1 million people move past his open coffin.
APRIL 01, 1937
Construction work for the Basilica’s upper portion resumes.
AUGUST 01, 1941
Blessing of the cross crowning the basilica dome.
Construction of the votive chapel and the alcove for Brother André’s tomb. Inauguration and blessing in March of 1950.
Relocation of Brother Andre’s original chapel to a more elevated site on the mountain. November 21: celebration of the first Solemn Mass in the Basilica.
MARCH 19, 1955
Elevation of the Oratory to the rank of Minor Basilica. Unveiling of the monument dedicated to Brother André. Inauguration of the carillon.
Official opening of the Basilica.
Official introduction, in Rome, of Brother André’s cause for beatification. November 13: blessing of the Basilica’s Beckerath organ.
Completion of the Basilica’s interior.
Inauguration of the exterior lighting system on the occasion of the Oratory’s 75th anniversary.
Beatification of Brother André by Pope John Paul II in Rome.
SEPTEMBER 11th, 1984
Visit of Pope John Paul II
Celebration of the new millennium. Installation of a new lighting system for the interior of the Basilica.
Unveiling of a major renovation plan for the entire property, so that it may be more accessible, more functional, safer and better suited to the needs of visitors and pilgrims.
OCTOBER 17, 2004
Consecration of the Basilica by Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte opening a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount-Royal.
OCTOBER 17, 2010
Canonization in Rome of Brother Andre by Pope Benedict XVI. The founder of Saint Joseph’s Oratory is officially recognized as Saint Andre Bessette.