"Ville de la vierge Marie" Cap-de-la-Madeleine by violette_ca
Cap-de-la-Madeleine Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 6 photos
Petite ville de pélérinage de la région de la Mauricie au Québec.
Cap-de-la-Madeleine, east of Montreal and near Trois Riviéres. Sitting on the shores of the St. Lawrence River and midway between Montreal and Quebec. Cap-de-la-Madeleine is a place of peace and tranquillity, serenity and beauty.
Its history goes back to 1634 when the area was first settled. The following year the first Jesuit Missionaries arrived to serve the settlers of the new village. The first little timber chapel was built here in 1659 on a small piece of land known as 'Blessed Mary's fief'. 5 years later it was to become the first of Canada's Catholic churches to be dedicated as a Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, a very new form of prayerful devotion to Our Lady at that time.
In 1720 the first stone chapel was built and was known as the "Small Shrine". It still holds this name today and is the oldest church in Canada. The Basilica was built over a 9 year period and opened in 1964. The stained glass windows created
by Holland's Jan Tillemans, OMI. are unique in North America and very beautiful. The photograph on the right below shows the Small Chapel in the foreground and the Basilica to the rear.There are many strange and wondrous stories to be told about this place but the most famous is that of The Ice Bridge. Growth of the community necessitated the building of a new church but as the parish was a poor one it was agreed to demolish the old church and re-use the stone along with imported stone from across the river.
The winter of 1878-1879 was so mild that no ice had formed on the river so the parishioners began to pray the Rosary for a big freeze to allow the much needed stone to be transported across. Fr. Désilets, parish priest at the time, vowed to Our Lady that if she answered their prayers he would leave the old church standing and dedicate the parish to the Her patronage.Months went by with no ice then in March of 1879 their prayers were answered with the overnight formation of an ice bridge which lasted for 9 days, allowing the transportation of all the necessary stone to commence the building work. The old church was retained and dedicated on June 22nd. 1888 as Notre-Dame-du-Cap.
Since that time the first Marian Shrine in Canada - Our Lady of The Cape - has seen millions of pilgrims visiting here, including Pope John Paul 11. In 1924 a commemoration bridge was built in the gardens with the links from one side to the other as replicas of huge Rosary beads..
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