Naturally, every novena celebrated at Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal has its own story…
Although Saint Brother André’s Original Chapel was inaugurated in the fall of 1904, it was used on a seasonal basis during the first five years of its existence. The Feast of St. Joseph wasn’t celebrated until 1909, and it was noticed that at the time, the Ascension (40 days after Easter) seemed to draw the most pilgrims.
On January 1, 1924, two Oratory employees, Édouard Barsalo and Napoléon Carrières, had a pious idea: to start the new year off right by making a night pilgrimage from Mile-End to the Oratory, arriving on time for the first mass of the year, at 6 a.m. From this initiative, a tradition that has lasted over 80 years was born!
Many saints and community founders felt a certain pride in affirming to have been entrusted with the responsibility by the Virgin Mary herself to preaching and spreading the practice of the recitation and devotion of the Rosary.