Saint Joseph's precious pipes
In 1904 a humble Montreal monk named Brother André realized a dream: to build a shrine to St. Joseph. Pilgrims flocked there, seeking not just a place of prayer but the touch of Brother André — a man his followers believed could work miracles. A century later the shrine, St. Joseph's Oratory, was attracting two million visitors every year and in 2010 Brother André was declared a saint. CBC Archives looks at his life and legacy.
. The mechanical organ weighs 42 tonnes. Its tallest pipe reaches almost 10 metres high.
. As large as it is, the pipe organ at St. Joseph's Oratory ranks 62nd in the world, size-wise. The largest is the Wanamaker Organ, a behemoth bearing 28,482 pipes. It's at the Lord & Taylor department store in Philadelphia.
. The largest pipe organ in Canada is the Casavant Organ at the Metropolitan United Church in Toronto. It has 7,840 pipes.
. At age nine Philippe Bélanger became the organist at his local church in Aylmer, Que.
. Bélanger is an employee of the oratory, not a member of the religious order that runs it.
. Bélanger replaced organist Raymond Daveluy, who was the oratory's official organist from 1960 to 2002. Daveluy was an accomplished musician and teacher who also appeared on CBC Radio's French service on a program called Récital d'orgue.
. Visitors can hear the organ Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings in summer.
. Music can also be heard on the oratory's 56-bell carillon, an outdoor bell tower that chimes songs twice a day Thursdays to Sundays.
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: May 23, 1982
Guest(s): Bill McGinnis
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Larry Stout
Last updated: October 15, 2012
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
All Clips from this Topic
Thousands line up to pay their respects after Brother André dies. (sil...
The mountainside site of the oratory is a place for reflection and pra...
The case for Brother André's sainthood is prepared for the Vatican.
A humble wooden chapel gives way to a soaring domed basilica.
Artists pay homage to Brother André's preserved heart after thieves st...
An anonymous telephone call leads to the discovery of the oratory's mo...
An advocate at the Vatican argues that the church should declare Broth...
From sickly orphan to beloved Brother André: the life of the man who b...
A ceremony at the Vatican puts the Montreal monk one step closer to be...
A young organist demonstrates the majesty and the music of the oratory...
A priest who worked with Brother André shares his memories.
Believers at St. Joseph's Oratory tell amazing stories about Brother A...
St. Joseph's Oratory hosts a multicultural celebration for the year 20...
St. Joseph's Oratory marks 100 years on the mountain.
In 1904 a humble Montreal monk named Brother André realized a dream: t...