Montreal, Canada, Oct 17, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The largest shrine to St. Joseph in the world is now the rare recipient of a top Vatican honor. Pope John Paul II conferred the Golden Rose to St. Joseph’s Oratory yesterday on the occasion of the official opening of its centennial celebrations and the consecration of its basilica.
Pope Urban II created the Golden Rose during his pontificate, which began in 1088. In these almost 1,000 years, only 180 golden roses have been conferred, seven of which were in the last century.
This is only the second Golden Rose Pope John Paul II has awarded. The first was given to Our Lady of Czestochowa in Poland, at the beginning of his 26-year pontificate, in 1978.
Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the apostolic nuncio to Canada, was on hand to present the gift, wrought of gold, to Montreal archbishop Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, who was the main celebrant at yesterday’s mass. About 35 bishops from across Canada and 2,200 people attended the event, which was broadcast live on national television.