Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 6, 2004
Shrine marks 100th year
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Founded 100 years ago as a tiny chapel, the dome-shaped Basilica of Saint Joseph's Oratory overlooking much of the city is to be formally dedicated to God at a consecration ceremony Oct. 17.
Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, the archbishop of Montreal, will preside at the event at the basilica, the largest place of pilgrimage in the world dedicated to St. Joseph and a destination for thousands of people seeking miraculous cures.
Father Claude Grou, president of centenary celebrations, says the anniversary "is the perfect occasion to rediscover the spiritual foundation of the work of love and compassion begun by Brother Andre."
In the 1870s, Brother Andre Bessette was doorkeeper of Notre Dame College, a boys' boarding school. He built the small chapel on the mountain where he often went to pray to St. Joseph. He quickly became known as the "miracle man of Montreal," after numerous medically inexplicable healings attributed to his prayers were reported.
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