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Category: Feasts and Celebrations

Saint Joseph at the cradle of Canadian history

It is recounted that during his expedition to the Hurons in 1615, Samuel de Champlain was accompanied by the Franciscan Recollet, Father Joseph Le Caron, who celebrated the first mass in Huron country on August 12, 1615 and named this first mission, at Quienonascaran, after Saint Joseph. In 1624 (around July 16 through August 15), Father Le Caron entrusted this new colony to the care of Saint Joseph as he wrote in his memoirs: “Sixteen hundred and twenty-four, we made a great solemnity…, by a vow we made to Saint Joseph whom we chose as the patron saint of the country and protector of this nascent Church.” (Annales de Saint Joseph, 13ème Année, Janvier 1924, p. 11).

Companion of Saint Brother André

Brother André, a listening heart. A man of prayer and great simplicity, he embodied John the Baptist’s words to Jesus: “He must increase but I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). His reputation as a miracle worker and saint spread quickly. Yet the humble religious man never even sought recognition, let alone glory. He never stopped calling himself “the instrument of Saint Joseph,” his companion in spiritual life.

Companion in Hope

Hope cannot be taken for granted. It’s easier to despair, to let ourselves fall into sadness or weariness. How many are discouraged? Consciously or not, we sometimes forget Hope and wonder: “What’s the point? What’s the point in going on?”

Companion on the path of faith

Joseph welcomed God’s presence in his life. On his word, he committed himself to the Incarnation of his Son: the most unfathomable of mysteries. He accepted God’s plan without protest or question, and went ahead, happy to walk in the light because God was there.

Companion of our Families

Jesus probably always called Joseph “abba,” or “papa.” He would later address God, his Father, in the same way. It’s by the same word—so intimate!—that he invited his disciples to pray to God the Father: “When you pray, say: Our Papa who art in heaven…”

Companion of our Church

Joseph, as we know, had the privilege of sharing a household with two exceptional people: Jesus and Mary. As Jesus’ “earthly” father, Joseph held him in his arms, helped him through his first steps, held his hand on the way to the synagogue or the market, taught him his Jewish prayers, and had the joy of finding him, as a teenager, after three days in the Jerusalem Temple. What a role Joseph played as protector and educator throughout Jesus’ youth!

Companion of our ancestors

The year 2024 marks the 4th centenary of Canada’s consecration to Saint Joseph. As early as 1624, the Recollects, the first European missionaries to arrive in Nouvelle-France, consecrated the young colony and the nascent Church of Canada to Saint Joseph.

Our great country’s patronage would later be formalized by two popes: Urban VIII in 1637 and Gregory XVI in 1834.

The Traveling Tombstone of Blessed Basile Moreau

In the rear of the Basilica, in a small apsidal chapel, rests a remarkable and particularly precious object for the Congregation of Holy Cross: the original tombstone of its founder, Blessed Basile-Antoine-Marie Moreau. The story of its journey is relatively enigmatic.

Christmas Wishes from the Rector

In this Christmas season, may peace and serenity flood your hearts and homes. May the light of the star that guided the Three Wise Men to the newborn Christ illuminate your path and bring you hope and joy.

Christmas is a special time to share love, compassion and generosity with those closest to us, and even with those we don’t know. It’s an opportunity to reach out to those in need, to spread the warmth of friendship and to cultivate mutual understanding.

Easter or the consolation of the Risen One

Have you noticed how the biblical texts we hear at Easter are texts of consolation?

During the days of the octave, that is, the liturgical week following the solemnity of Easter, the Word of God opens us to the presence of the Risen Jesus.

And each time, he surprises his interlocutors who are suffering from sadness and mourning by bringing them peace and consolation: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:10, Easter Vigil and Easter Monday); “Why are you weeping” (Jn 20:13, Tuesday); “Were not our hearts burning within us as he spoke to us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us? “(Lk 24:32, Wednesday); “Why are you troubled?” (Lk 24:38, Thursday); “It is the Lord” (Jn 21:7, Friday); “[Mary Magdalene] went to tell the news to those who had lived with him and were grieving and weeping” (Mk 16:10, Saturday).

Lenten journey with Jesus

Christian Lent always begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Palm Sunday, which opens the door to Holy Week.

It is a 40-day journey of fasting, prayer, meditation and sharing, in memory of the 40 days Christ spent in the desert, under the influence of the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:12-13, Mt 4:1-1, Lk 4:1-13).

This retreat of Jesus into the desert echoes the 40 days and 40 nights of Moses on Mount Sinai where he received the two tablets of the Law (Ex 24:18), his fasting of 40 days and 40 nights to intercede for Israel who had sinned gravely in making and worshipping the golden calf (Deut 9:18. 25), to the 40 years of wandering of the Hebrews in the desert (between Egypt and the Promised Land; Ex 24:18) and finally to the 40 days of the prophet Elijah’s walk to meet God on Mount Horeb (1Ki 19:8).


The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

By Claude Grou, c.s.c.

Member of the Pastoral Team of Saint Joseph's Oratory

February 2, 2023 Brother André, Feasts and Celebrations, Spirituality

Today’s liturgy is the result of a long evolution in which two elements come together. A celebration of the presentation of Jesus in the temple and a celebration of light. On Christmas night we celebrated Christ, who came to be the Light of the World. Forty days later, this light enters the temple.

The temple, which for the Jewish people was the place of God’s presence among his people, now receives the Light of the World. The ancient rituals of presentation in the temple and purification are suddenly transformed by a light and two people, witnesses of this waiting people, are present to welcome the one who comes to illuminate the temple. They are there to testify that the time of waiting is now over and that the time of full realisation of the promise has arrived.