Another major church on my tour of Montreal is Saint Joseph’s Oratory. This is a huge Catholic shrine dedicated to St. Joseph. It was founded by St. Brother André. The oratory is located on top of a mountain and there is a lot of stair climbing involved in visiting. It is a pilgrimage site.
Due to the great amount of walking, stairs, and lack of air conditioning, I did a lot of the exploring on my own. My husband and daughter saw some of the sights, but also chose to sit and rest, while I explored. The first area I explored was the Gardens of the Way of the Cross. As you walk up and around the expansive gardens, you follow the stations, which are statues depicting Christ on the day of his crucifixion.
The whole sight is dedicated to Saint Joseph, Jesus’ father on Earth. There are several chapels located throughout the property, along with the main church.
I liked these statues of the twelve apostles located in the main church.
Brother André, the founder of the Oratory, was canonized a saint in 2010. As the humble doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal, he welcomed and prayed with and even healed countless visitors. There are several areas of the Oratory with presentations on Saint André Bessette.
I walked to the original chapel, where Brother André lived on the top floor.
If you enjoy visiting churches and religious sites, as I do, then I definitely recommend a visit to Saint Joseph’s Oratory. Just be aware that there is a great deal of walking and climbing involved, although there are escalators inside. You can get a great view of the city from the top. There are many people visiting, but also some quiet spots for prayer, where no pictures are allowed. Mass was also being held in the crypt chapel during my visit.