Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 24, 2007
Samuel de Champlain foundation found under Quebec church
Quebec City's oldest surviving church includes St. Genevieve's chapel built in 1723
St. Genevieve – January 3
By TED FITZGERALD
Sainte-Genevieve's chapel, added by architect Jean Maillou in 1723, is visited year-round by the faithful.
Twenty-one years later, destruction in a storm of another British invasion fleet in the lower St. Lawrence resulted in the plural designation - Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. Despite this, the little church was unable to escape almost complete destruction by Wolfe's artillery during the siege of 1759, but was quickly restored under the new regime.
For two years before the opening of St. Patrick's Church in the upper town in 1831, Notre-Dame was home to hundreds of refugees from overseas and was popularly known as the Irish church.
Restorations over the years by a series of noted Quebec artisans has made the little jewel of Place Royale, since 1929 a designated provincial historic monument, a compelling attraction for visitors to Quebec.
Sainte-Genevieve's chapel, added by architect Jean Maillou in 1723, is visited year-round by the faithful. In addition to an ornate, gilt altar and statue of the Parisian saint, paintings of Genevieve hang on the south wall. In her statue, she is shown with some of the traditional symbols associated with the "protector from famine."
Genevieve was a well-to-do Parisian who, in the fifth century is said to have saved many of the besieged population of the City of Light by providing the financial means to run a blockade of the city to get bread to the starving inhabitants.
After her death, her assistance was often invoked for her intercession with God to aid the people of her city when danger appeared. Made by parishioners, her tiny little breads are blessed and distributed to those attending Mass on Jan. 3 in Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church.
Mass is celebrated twice on Sundays at this church, which today is part of a shared parish with the Quebec cathedral and upriver Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. The little church is open daily, as is an impressive book and religious gift shop adjacent to the shrine of holy Sainte-Genevieve.
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.