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Category: History

A Century Away. A Year Dedicated to Saint Joseph in 1921

By David Bureau

Archivist, Roland-Gauthier Archive and Documentation Centre

March 9, 2021 History, Saint Joseph

On December 8, 2020, Pope Francis invited us to a year dedicated to Saint Joseph.

We were astonished to discover, while browsing through the Annales de l’Oratoire Saint-Joseph that the year 1921 had also been consecrated to Saint Joseph by Pope Benedict XV. One hundred years to the day from the call of Pope Francis.

The farewell letter of the Sisters of Holy Cross and the Seven Sorrows to Brother André

By David Bureau

Archivist, Roland-Gauthier Archive and Documentation Centre

January 6, 2021 Brother André, History

January 6, 2021  marks the 84th anniversary of the death of Saint Brother André (January 6, 1937).

In the days – if not hours – following Brother André’s death, a significant amount of letters, telegrams and cards of sympathy arrived at the monastery’s post office. A brief inventory of this correspondence is made in the wake of the opening of the trial for Brother André’s canonization in 1940, and lists more than 700 letters of sympathy.

The Archbishops of Montreal and the Canonization of Saint Brother André

By David Bureau

Archivist, Roland-Gauthier Archive and Documentation Centre

November 18, 2020 Canonization of Brother André, History

The Archbishops of Montreal had a role to play throughout the steps leading up to the canonization of Saint Brother André. Some were prominent players while others were more discreet. Here is an outline of the history of their participation in the canonization.

Life, love, death

By Julie Buduroi

Registrar of Collections, Saint Joseph's Oratory Museum

October 23, 2020 Arts and culture, History

That’s it, fall is already well established. Due to the closing of the museums, I invite you in this blog to discover our heritage in a completely different way. Let’s get outside the walls of the Oratory and discover a place out of the ordinary in the great outdoors.

Brother André’s Cause

By Martin Brideau

Archives Technician

October 19, 2020 History

Since October 17, 2010, Brother André has been recognized as a Saint by the Catholic Church, 73 years after his death. This recognition is the fruit of a long work accomplished by what was then the Office for the Cause of Brother André. Since my arrival at the Oratory in 2017, I have processed the archives of this office. This blog post presents the process that led to Brother André’s canonization.

The First Novena to Brother André

By Martin Brideau

Archives Technician

August 7, 2020 Brother André, History

The year 2020 is a busy one for anniversaries at the Oratory. It marks the 100th novena to Saint Joseph, the 80th anniversary of the first novena to Brother André, the 175th anniversary of Brother André’s birth and the 10th anniversary of his canonization.


The Spanish Flu

By Martin Brideau

Archives Technician

May 28, 2020 History

Since its foundation in 1904, the Oratory has closed its doors to the public only three times. Aside from the current closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Oratory also closed its doors for one week during the 1998 ice storm.

The broadcasting of masses

By Martin Brideau

Archives Technician

April 29, 2020 History

Did you know that as early as 1940, the Oratory broadcast a 15-minute morning show on CKAC with the inevitable morning prayer. However, it was not until May 5, 1946, that the Sunday Mass in French was broadcast.

To Free from suffering following the example of Saint Brother André

Over the years, the Counseling Office of Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, a space of welcome, of listening, and of compassion, has without question become a valuable service offered to people who are wounded, not necessarily physically – as was the case in the time of Brother André (1904 to 1937) — but rather psychically, psychologically, emotionally, affectively, morally, and religiously.

What Remains of Brother André Today?

By Julie Buduroi

Registrar of Collections, Saint Joseph's Oratory Museum

February 20, 2020 Brother André, History

Brother André left few objects behind. The few pieces preserved at the Oratory Museum remind us that Brother André was a simple man. His great devotion to Saint Joseph moved large crowds in the early 20th century. This immense faith left us a legacy: the internationally renowned sanctuary, Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal.

New Year’s pilgrimage

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!

A short history of the great Beckerath organ in the Oratory Basilica

By Vincent Boucher et Denis Juget

Titular Organist at the Oratory / Organ Builder

September 26, 2019 Arts and culture, History

In 1957, Rudolf von Beckerath installed a 44-stop organ in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He then made a trip to Montreal, at the invitation of organists Kenneth Gilbert, Raymond Daveluy and Lucienne and Gaston Arel.