350 Years of History

Reinstallation of the Mount Royal Cross, Island of Montreal, New France (Quebec). Illustration : Soeur Sainte-Geneviève-Marie (Marguerite Garon). Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame – Montréal.

In January 1643, Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve fulfilled the vow he had made to the Blessed Virgin a month earlier to erect a wooden cross on the flank of Mount Royal if she interceded to stop the swollen waters of the Saint Lawrence River, which threatened the settlement. During a pilgrimage to the cross in 1653, de Maisonneuve discovered that the cross had been destroyed by the Iroquois and entrusted to Marguerite Bourgeoys the mission of erecting a new cross and protecting it with a stake palisade. In 1924, in remembrance of the first cross, the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal built a cross thirty-one metres high; it still stands tall today.