The founder of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family, Mother Marie-Léonie, died in 1912 and her funeral was celebrated at Saint-Michel Cathedral. Today, 105 years later, she is back, while her relic is exposed to the public.
M gr Luc Cyr has also blessed the shrine where the body of religious based Sunday at a ceremony at which the Little Sisters of the Holy Family attended.
After her death in 1912, the founder of this religious community was buried in the Saint-Michel cemetery, at a reasonable distance from the place where the sisters lived at the time (in the building which is now the Residences of the Cathedral). However, when they moved to what was to become their iconic building at the foot of Mount Bellevue, they were too far from the cemetery, and decided in 1935 to exhume the remains of their founder to be able to carry them with them.
“Forensic doctors have disinfected the bones and embalmed them according to the Egyptian method. We made on the skull a plaster remodeling, which was covered with wax. His body was dressed in a new religious costume and placed in a new casket. This is what you see now in the new shrine, here in the Basilica-Cathedral Saint-Michel, “said Sister Rachel Lemieux, who is also director at the center Marie-Léonie Paradis.
It was again a move that caused the relocation of the great relic of Mother Marie-Léonie. By settling in their new convent, they found that they had no place to keep it.
Mother Marie-Léonie had been available to the public since 1984 in the religious community, but Sister Rachel emphasized that it would be more accessible to the population at the cathedral.
The nun was recognized as “Venerable” by the Church in 1981 and proclaimed “Blessed” in 1984 by Pope John Paul II. Canada has only 10 “Blessed”.