The Saint Joseph’s Oratory is a dream realized by Saint Brother André, the humble Brother of the Congregation of the Holy Cross who, in the depths of his heart, held a tremendous desire to build a house of prayer dedicated to Saint Joseph. On October 19, 1904, a tiny chapel was inaugurated. Very soon, the little chapel became inadequate to receive more visitors. Brother André’s reputation expanded rapidly; stories of his cures spread far and wide and more and more pilgrims came to visit him. The situation called for the building of a larger church with a seating capacity of one thousand. The Crypt Church was completed in 1917. Begun in 1924, the Basilica was still roofless when Brother André died on January 6, 1937. This gigantic construction was built thanks to the efforts of thousands of workers. The inauguration as a Minor Basilica was held March 19, 1955, but the interior was not completed until 1967. Inaugurated in 1959, the beautiful garden of the Cross offers a space of silence as Brother André imagined.
Since 1094, the Oratory has risen above in the heart of Montreal, in the lush and historic Mount Royal district, this internationally renowned pilgrimage destination is steeped in history and culture. In 2004, on the 100th anniversary of its founding, it was declared a National Historic Site by the Canadian Government.