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St. Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal
St. André Bessette was a simple door-keeper in 19th century Montreal who developed a reputation for miraculous healings. He attributed the cures to St. Joseph. In 1904, the Congregation of Holy Cross, to which Brother André belonged, gave him funds to build a small chapel on Mount Royal. Eventually, a grand church was constructed on the hill, with a statue of St. Joseph in front, bearing the Latin words Ite a Joseph (Go to Joseph). Visitors to the basilica have the option of climbing a set of 99 wooden steps on their knees, and visiting a series of chapels dedicated to various attributes which Christian tradition has accorded to St. Joseph, such as Model for Workers and Sustainer of Families. Canes and crutches are suspended from pillars, objects left behind by pilgrims grateful for the graces, favors, and healings.

© Gerard Robert | CC BY-SA 3.0