Thursday, March 26, 2009

Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel & The Sailors Memorial Clock Tower

Rue Saint-Paul East

As you walk on you'll notice the hustle and bustle increasing, the laughter and conversations enlivening the streets. For centuries, Montrealers and visitors have gathered here to shop, stroll, and chat, or even to offer prayers to Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours for the safe return of loved ones off at sea

Bonsecours Market

Thanks to the "Our Lady of the Harbour" statue atop its dome, made famous by poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen, this chapel is known as "The Sailor's Church." Inside are original Édouard Meloche (1886) frescoes on wooden slats, and you can look out over the Old Port from an observation tower. The chapel underwent extensive renovations as well as archaeological excavation. The new interpretation centre includes artifacts pre-dating the arrival of the New France colonists in 1642.

Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel and Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum Description
(Local Name: Montréal - Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours and Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum) Montréal's oldest church, the Chapel of Our Lady de Bonsecours, at the end of the street, was rebuilt in its present form in 1772 after a number of fires. It replaced the original wooden building (1657) put up by the founder of the Congrégation-de-Notre-Dame, Margeurite Bourgeoys, canonized in 1982. The church long contained a miraculous little Madonna made of oak and given by the Baron de Fancamp in 1672. It was much venerated by the Congrégation de Notre Dame, and by seafarers, many of whom left offerings to the Virgin. Although today's Madonna is a copy, the offerings, including some model ships, can still be seen

Known as the Sailors' Church, this enchanting chapel derives its name from the sailors who left behind votive lamps in the shape of ships in thanksgiving for safe passage. The restored interior has inspirational paintings of the Virgin Mary, stained-glass windows depicting stations of her life and a variety of icons including a recumbent statue of Marguerite Bourgeoys.
The exterior has been remodeled so many times that little of the original remains; a large statue of the Virgin Mary crowned with an aureole of stars graces the roof of the double-bell tower.

At the east edge of the historic port stands the striking white Tour de l'Horloge. The clock commemorates the sailors and shipmen who died in the world wars

***This was a site I was excited about seeing. I love my husband very much and have always honored his dedication to the sea. Even in our wedding ceremony we made a dedication to all the loves who have been lost to the sea. Everytime my husband leaves I always make certain I tell him "I love him" and to "Be safe and come home to me". I also keep a holy candle lit every day that he is away. He is the love of my life.

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