In January, the Oratory is for engaged couples!
We are sometimes asked if marriages have been celebrated at Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. Because of its status in the Roman Catholic Church, the shrine cannot celebrate marriages. Thus, unlike the archives of a parish church, the shrine does not keep marriage records. But then, why do some people persist in claiming to know someone who was married at the Oratory?
A “tradition” for nearly 20 years
We must go back to March 1941 for the beginning of an answer. The Annales de Saint Joseph reports in the section “Life in the Shrine” that a solemn blessing of engagement ceremony was held in January 1941 for young couples wishing to underline their commitment to the sacrament of marriage. The choice to hold this celebration in January was not frivolous. In fact, it is in January that the Church celebrates the Feast of the Betrothal of Mary and Joseph.