Rosalie’s footsteps – step 3
Part one: the old church of Saint-Jacques
Continue the pilgrimage to the “No Rosalie” by starting the third stage of the journey through the streets of Montreal. Rue Jeanne-Mance (see Step 2), let us on the Rue Saint-Denis, just north of St. Catherine, where the facade of the old church of Saint-Jacques, now integrated with walls of the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM).
What we see is the facade of the second Saint-Jacques, the great fire of 1852 Montreal who burned the first one attended by Rosalie.
We thus find ourselves in places of great piety Rosalie, where she spent her Sunday and when she drew faith, hope and love to continue a life support and hospitality to human misery.
Nowadays, when we move the doors, we find these beautiful stained glass windows that were left in place and beautify the space, leaving behind a history note.
The place itself is still full of meaning for those who are interested in the places traveled and inhabited by Rosalie during her life in Montreal.
The Church of St. Jacques was built between 1823 and 1825, Bishop Ignace Bourget and act as vicar for a few years and this is how he met Rosalie and he became her spiritual director.
Remember that it is in 1827 that Rosalie had come to Montreal with her husband Jean-Marie and her children after suffering setbacks difficult. The new church is located not far from his home, offered a welcome refuge Rosalie and praying comfort.
Over the years, family obligations diminish somewhat, Rosalie was able to satisfy his deep faith in regularly attending St. Jacques Church. Who was to become the Bishop of Montreal (1840 to 1876), Bourget, and learned to know it well, which would lead him to ask Rosalie found a community to help single mothers.
His intimate and profound relationship with God is unique. For her, God is mercy. She knows she is inhabited by his loving presence and surrenders to him with confidence, she never feels alone. God guides and accompanies him in what she has to live. His desire to do His will in all things is part of his way of living his life. His faith is abundantly nourished by the Word of God, prayer and the sacraments.
It was at this church, not far from her home, Rosalie will find the strength and courage to go through all the trials experienced since arriving in Montreal: extreme poverty, the death of Jean-Marie, his children and his mother.
She rose early to pray, then it was off to the church. She was astonished when all Masses were said. She then set to work. At 3:00, she returned to the church, and was astonished at 7:00. She was seen for hours on his knees before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, still as a statue.
Part II: the episcopal palace burns
To continue the pilgrimage, it is not necessary to go far: just turn the corner of the rue Saint-Denis and take the St. Catherine Street to the east. It will thus be a front façade of the former St. Jacques Church now part of the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). The first part of Step 3, we showed another similarly integrated façade.
This location has not always received the Saint-Jacques! At the time of Rosalie, we saw where the new episcopal palace Bourget, Bishop of Montreal. It is here that Rosalie told her unconditional yes to Bourget for the arduous mission he entrusted to him.
With courage and strength, she dare this path filled with unknown path that led him to experience suffering, but also great joy and meaning in his life that transformed his whole being and acting.
Built in 1851, this building was to serve as a home for the bishop in addition to housing its offices and those of the diocesan staff. Unfortunately, a significant event would thwart Bourget: The Great Fire of Montreal from July 9, 1852!
A spark from a small stove set in a wooden house is behind this huge fire that destroyed more than a thousand hundred houses in addition to pushing ten thousand people in the street. Firefighters work hard, but make matters worse, the municipal water tank is empty! Cleaning work and pipe additions are underway.
We must go to the St. Lawrence river to fetch water, slowing the work of many firefighters. In addition, the fire spreading fast, aided by a strong wind. This disaster razed entire neighborhoods of Montreal. The first St. Jacques Church, as well as the episcopal palace of the bishop, have not escaped.
In 1852, Rosalie was living in community, on street corners and Lagauchetière Campeau. The fire went up near the monastery, causing great fear religious who had begun to bury in the garden valuables of the chapel. Fortunately, the fire has exhausted his run right there.