Sunday, August 26, 2018

inSPIREd Sunday

inSPIREd Sunday

August 2018 - Montreal QC

Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral (French: Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde) is a minor basilica in Montreal, and the seat of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Montreal. It is the third largest church in Quebec after Saint Joseph's Oratory (also in Montreal) and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré east of Quebec City.

The construction of the cathedral was ordered by Mgr. Ignace Bourget, second bishop of Montreal, to replace the former Saint-Jacques Cathedral which had burned in 1852. His choice to create a scale model of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome was in response to a rivalry with the Sulpician order who had been the feudal seigneurs of Montreal, and with the Anglican Church, both of which favoured the Neo-Gothic style instead. The site also sparked controversy due to its location in the western part of downtown, in a then predominantly English neighbourhood far from the homes of the French-Canadian church-goers.

Click here for our photos of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Instead of the statues of the 12 apostles on the façade of St. Peter's, the front of the cathedral is topped by statues of the patron saints of 13 parishes of Montreal who donated them, including St. John the Baptist and St. Patrick. All of the statues were sculpted by Olindo Gratton between 1892 and 1898. These statues represent (from left to right):
Saint Anthony of Padua, patron of the Saint-Anthony-of-Padua parish (at 1950 Saint-Antoine Street West);
Saint Vincent de Paul, patron of the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul parish in Laval;
Saint Hyacinth;
Saint Thomas Aquinas;
Saint Paul;
Saint John;
Saint James the Greater, patron of this very cathedral and its predecessor that was destroyed by fire, the Saint-Jacques Cathedral;
Saint Joseph, patron of the Saint-Joseph parish in Rivière-des-Prairies;
Saint John the Baptist, patron of the parish of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church;
Saint Patrick, patron of the parish of the St. Patrick's Church;
Saint Ignatius of Antioch;
Saint Charles Borromeo, patron of the parish of the Saint-Charles Church in Pointe Saint-Charles;
Saint Francis of Assisi.


Next to the church,a monument for Mgr. Ignace Bourget.

Religious art display in the lobby.

A confessional on display.

The aisles of the nave and the arches in the transept contain painting depicting historical events in the early days of Montreal.

The bishop's mortuary chapel

Burial chapel, completed in 1933, is located on the left of the nave, halfway between the main entrance and the altar in the centre.

The walls and floors are made of marble imported from Italy and feature several mosaics. The bronze plaque above the altar depicts the St. Peter's in Rome.

 The tomb of Mgr. Bourget, an art work which was created in Rome, is located in the centre. The remains of the bishop that lay in a crypt under one of the pillars in the cathedral, were transferred to his tomb on April 27, 1933.

The titular bishops are buried on the right-hand side and the auxiliary bishops on the left-hand side.

The Chapel of the Assumption

This chapel, also known as the Marriage Chapel, is located on the right side of the nave (across from the Bishop's Chapel). This work of art features a wood-carved altarpiece, decorated with gold leaf and framing a painting depicting the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It was made around 1635 at the Benedictine Abbey in Bellelay, Switzerland by a Spanish monk. When the monks were forced to leave during the religious retaliation, the occupying French troops sold all the precious furniture in the Abbey. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Austrian architect-conservator Rodolphe Messmer, discovered the altarpiece in the church of Suarce, France and acquired it. In 1994, Bruno Messmer donated it to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal.

In 1957, Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger put the chapel at the disposal of the Order of Malta. The stained-glass windows are dedicated to this Order.

The sacrament of baptism is celebrated in the small chapel. The marble baptismal font is surmounted by an impressive stucco crucifix sculpted by Philippe Hébert.

Built by Casavant Frères, the organ was inaugurated on September 22, 1893. At that time, it consisted of 56 stops on three manuals and a pedal board. In 1951 the organ required enormous maintenance, after which was decided to rebuild the entire organ. Again, Casavant Frères was chosen for the job and they added 20 stops and a manual.

Covering the altar, which is located under the dome, is a neo-baroque ciborium or baldaquin, with twisting columns. It was created in Rome in 1900 by Joseph-Arthur Vincent and is a reproduction of the famous 'baldacchino' in the St. Peter's, created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It is fully hand-made and made with red copper and gold leaf. The angels, garlands and papal insignia were sculpted between 1910 and 1911 by Olindo Gratton. This full work of art was a donation to the cathedral by the Sulpicians.


  1. ...what an amazing place. The statues are wonderful.

  2. That’s an impressive edifice.

  3. You know the church hints of St Peters in Rome on the outside and is reflected the same way inside especally that Altar covering


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