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Sitting on the south side of the city’s namesake mountain, St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal (L’Oratoire St‐Joseph du Mont‐Royal) is a little off the beaten path of Montréal’s most visited sites, but the views of Montréal alone are almost enough to justify the journey. One of the city’s most impressive religious buildings, the basilica has a history that began with André Bessette, a lay brother who became famous for his miracle cures (which he credited to Saint Joseph). In 1904, he built a small chapel on the site of the oratory, but it soon attracted more worshippers than could fit in the building and in 1924 construction of the basilica began. It would finally be completed in 1967. (Meanwhile, Bessette died in 1937 and was canonized in 2010 as Saint André of Montréal.) Today pilgrims from around the world flock to the enormous church, many in search of the miracle cures that first attracted worshippers to Bessette’s original chapel.
Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
Saint Joseph’s Oratory (L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal), on the slopes of Mount Royal, stands on the site of an earlier chapel constructed by André Bessette, also known as Brother André, and now Saint André of Montréal (he was canonized in 2010). A modest and humble lay brother beloved by many French Canadians, André became famous for his spiritual devotion and ability to cure the sick. The new basilica that honors Brother André and his patron saint, Joseph, is a dramatic and soaring edifice, with the third-tallest dome in the world. Thousands of faithful in search of miraculous cures, as well as tourists more interested in architectural splendor, visit the basilica every year.