Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, founded in 1904, is located on Westmount Summit which is visible from our apartment balcony. My husband & I are extremely lucky to enjoy this lovely montainside view… For more advices on how to find your ideal home, check out our previous post called “Apartment Hunting Tips” :

The Oratory holds a statue dedicated to Saint Joseph and represents the largest shrine in the world.

Romain & I couldn’t resist taking a few selfies in front of this well-known basilica!

It is Canada’s most massive church and the 27th biggest church construction in the world.

The architectural style of the building is Italian Renaissance. It has an imposing dome which gives a remarkable physical and symbolic presence in Montreal.

A wooded area surrounds the basilica. It is a serene and bucolic place for meditation in an outstanding horticultural setting where majestic sculptures by Louis Parent can be admired. A visit to the Gardens of the way of the cross is a must!

Offering one of the most breathtaking views of the city, the Oratory allows during the summer to combine relaxation and nature.

Here’s the History behind this Roman Catholic edifice and national shrine:

  • In 1904 : Saint Andre Bessette began the construction of St. Joseph, a small chapel on the slopes of Mont Royal near Notre Dame College.
  • In 1910 : The statue of Saint Joseph was authorised a Canonical coronation by Pope Pius X.
  • In 1917 : A larger church was completed that had a seating capacity of 1,000.
  • In 1924 : The construction of the basilica of Saint Joseph’s Oratory began.
  • In 1955 : Canonical coronation via Cardinal Vincenzo Vannutelli and another from Pope Pius XII.
  • In 1967 : The construction was finally completed.
  • In 2010 : Pope Benedict XVI canonized the saint.

The shrine is also notorious due to its association with Brother Andre Bessette who was believed to possess healing powers through his Josephian devotion with its notable oil oinment given freely to its believers.

In other words, Romain & I discovered the many facets of this exceptional site and its artistic and historical heritage. If you’re in the Montreal area, Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal is definitely a must-see attraction during your stay!


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  1. We visited this awesome place with Samir and Julie. The sad story of Brother Andre Bessette touching my heart.Starving to death because of helping people in need is unthinkable today. Mummy Mermaid.

    • I remember you visited this basilica with Samir & Julie! Yes, Brother Andre Bessette had an extremely good heart. That’s why he devoted his life to helping people in need…

  2. Oh, another beautiful place to add to our mind map of your surroundings!
    After you mentioned the garden of the Way of the Cross I had to google it: htis is the effect your posts have on me (and not only on me, I’m sure)!
    Thank you so much for sharing… and, congratulations for the new layout: the idea to have parallel levels of organization of the posts, chronological and thematical, is definitely on spot! ^_^

    • Yes another quiet and peaceful place we discovered within our neighborhood! It’s nice that after reading this article you had the urge to check out what I mentionned on Google 🙂 It’s very flattering and I hope you found the missing details you were looking for… Thank you for taking the time to read and send us your feedback! I will tell Romain you like the new layout 😉 We wanted to organize our posts so people could choose what to read according to their own personal interests!

    • Thank you for your comment and yes, your bucket list will get longer, you have to visit this place! We are happy you liked our post! 🙂

  3. Wow … U sure are very blessed to have the view of this church. Only lucky few have such views. When I’m in Montreal, I’m surely going to check out the Basilica !

    • Yes, we are so lucky to have this amazing view from our balcony! And you’re absolutely right, you should go to this Basilica when you’re in Montreal 🙂

  4. Love your post! beautiful gardens and shrine. I always like to read about Saint stories (or other religious background) behind these places.

    • Thanks, I’m glad you love our post 🙂 The garden is heavenly and the shrine is also one of a kind! It’s always nice to read about Saint stories behind a particular place.

    • It’s definitely a place worth visiting. Glad you enjoyed our photos! Montreal is an amazing city, if you ever come, you will not want to go back!haha 🙂