September 19, 2005 18:00 ET
The Government of Canada Commemorates the National Historic Significance of Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 19, 2005) - On behalf of the Honourable Stephane Dion, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Lucienne Robillard, President of the Queen's Privy Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, unveiled today a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the national historic significance of Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal. The ceremony took place at the end of the festivities organized for the 100th anniversary of the Oratory.
"Two million people a year visit Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal. Of national and international renown, it is a source of great pride for all Canadians," said Minister Dion. "This is what has led the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to recommend that the Oratory be recognized as a national historic site of Canada."
Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal is a place of pilgrimage established by Brother Andre and dedicated to Saint Joseph. What was at first a simple chapel where pilgrims came to pray to Saint Joseph rapidly expanded to become the Oratory that we know today. With its distinctive architecture, in particular the basilica dome, the Oratory constitutes an impressive physical and symbolic presence in its mountainside setting.
"Last spring, in recognition of the Oratory's unique religious, social and artistic characteristics, the Government of Canada announced the contribution of three million dollars towards the construction of new reception pavilions," added Minister Robillard.
Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada's history. The placement of a commemorative plaque represents the official recognition of their historic value. It is a way of educating the public about the richness of our cultural heritage which must be preserved for present and future generations.