History

  • History
Section Sanctuaire photo importante

2018-2019

The Hermitage is receiving financial assistance and is implementing a $3.4 million project. The design of a world-class multimedia show, the development of a projection room inside the Scala Santa and the modernization of the service areas at the restaurant.

Redevelopment of Place Saint-Antoine.
Landscaping and slope stabilization at Agora Notre-Dame.
Renovation of a block of standard rooms in the Emmaus pavilion.
Development of a new sanitary block.
Development of new parking areas.
Added charging stations for electric vehicles.

The Government of Canada is providing $1,443,770

The Government of Quebec Provides Financial Assistance $889,924

2017

From June 9 to 15, 2017, the Ermitage Saint-Antoine de Lac-Bouchette has the privilege of welcoming the relics of Saint-Antoine directly from Padua. Indeed, it will be one of the few times in Quebec that the faithful will be able to pray to the relics and write their personal intentions which will later be deposited at his tomb in Padua.

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2016

Holy Year of the Miserocorde: The main door of the Memorial Chapel is declared Door of Mercy for the year. Thousands of pilgrims enter the gate with confidence.

Inauguration of the Elzéar-DeLamarre Center in collaboration with the Antonian Sisters of Mary, exhibitions and interpretation are part of it.

2015-2009

2015 – Complete restoration of the rooms of the Nazareth pavilion. Five new rooms of superior quality are offered to guests and pilgrims.
Celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Capuchin presence and service at the Hermitage and 125 years of presence in Canada.
120th anniversary of the magazine «Le Messager de Saint-Antoine»

2014 – Restoration of the Memorial Chapel
Replacement of the large windows of the Marian Chapel and complete restoration of the large stained glass windows of the Capuchin Guy Bruneau.
Celebration of the 100th anniversary of Victor DeLamarre’s 309.5 lb reccord with Hugo Girard as guest of honour.
Restoration of the frescoes by the painter Charles Huot at the Saint-Antoine chapel by professionals at the Quebec City conservation centre.

2013 – Restoration of the courtyard of the Marian Chapel.
Repair of the northern facade of the Marian chapel.

2012 – Complete restoration of Little Masabielle

2011 – Innauguration of the new restaurant «Le Campanile».
The Antonian Sisters of Mary agreed to donate to the Hermitage the artifacts of the founder, Abbé DeLamarre.
A permanent exhibition is then available at the museum. The Antoniennes de Marie leave the Hermitage after more than 35 years of loyal service.

2010 – Construction of two family cottages for 1 to 6 people.
Construction of the Saint-Antoine Tower of more than 25 meters.

2008-1953

1999 – Grand prix du tourisme Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
François Larochelle Prize awarded to the Capuchin Society.

1997 – Development of the 7 km long François d’Assise trail.
Restoration of Huot’s paintings by the Centre de conservation de Québec.

1996 – Grand prix du tourisme Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
First presentation of the «Christmas of Francis of Assise».

1994 – Expansion of the hotel business and addition of rooms in the Béthanie pavilion.
Modernization of the secretariat of Le Messager magazine.

1990 – Development of 11 campgrounds with services for campers.
Souvenir Chapel Renovation

1998 – Construction of the 26-room Emmaus pavilion.

1983 – Construction of the Bethany pavilion with 23 rooms.

1982 – Construction of the new hotel. Demolition of the old one.

1981 – Installation of a roof for the outdoor chapel that can accommodate 1,000 people.

1976 – The paintings of Huot and San’Tonio chapel are classified as historical monuments by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

1970 – Installation of the stained glass windows of Father Guy Bruneau in the Marian Chapel.

1965 – Construction of the Nazareth pavilion with 11 rooms and a 200-seat theatre and meeting room.

1960 – Construction of the Saint Mary’s Pavilion, used by the nuns and employees.

1957 – Construction of the Accueil Notre-Dame with 52 rooms.

1954 – Installation at the front of the Marian Chapel of the statue of Our Lady of the North (work of Marius Plamondon) which is a gift of the Knights of Columbus.

1953 – Construction of two large picnic shelters.

Construction chapelle Mariale 1950

1950-1952

1950 Construction of the Marian chapel. This chapel is recognized as the first chapel of modern architecture in Quebec.

1952 June 1: blessing of the Marian chapel during the most important day of pilgrimage in the history of the Hermitage. The JOC (Jeunesse Ouvrière Catholique) of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean brings together 7,500 young people on the site.

 

 

1948-1922

Construction of the Capuchin monastery.
Director of a film (Le pèlerinage de Lac-Bouchette) by Father Venance Carron, Capuchin.

1926 – First Permanent Brotherhood of Capuchins living in Lac-Bouchette.

1926 – Construction of the Scala Santa, a staircase of 28 steps that reproduces the one that Christ ascended during his condemnation by Pilate.

1925 – The Capuchin Fathers took charge of the Hermitage, according to Abbé DeLamarre’s wish.

1922 – Construction of a new bridge providing road access to the site.
Development of the first hotel. It had 50 rooms.

chalet du fondateur vers 1921

1950-1970

1970 – Installation of the stained glass windows by Father Guy Bruneau in the Marian chapel.

1965 – Construction of the Nazareth pavilion containing 11 rooms and a theater and meeting room with 200 seats.

1960 – Construction of the Ste-Marie pavilion, used by nuns and employees.

1957 – Construction of the Accueil Notre-Dame with 52 rooms.

1954 – Installation in the front of the Marian chapel of the statue of Our Lady of the North (work of Marius Plamondon) which is a gift from the Knights of Columbus.

1953 – Installation of two large picnic shelters.

1950 Construction of the Marian chapel. This chapel is recognized as the first chapel of modern architecture in Quebec.

The wooden statue of Saint Anthony above the devotional lights in the Marian Chapel comes from Italy. It was placed there in 1957. Behind it, you can see stained glass windows, the work of Friar Guy Bruneau, a Capuchin, who made all of the stained glass windows in the chapel in 1970.

1920-1948

One year later, the grotto was blessed and recognized as a pilgrimage site. It was the faith of the regional population that prompted the bishop to answer Abbé DeLamarre’s pleas. Over the summer, more and more pilgrims arrived in Lac-Bouchette. It was in 1918 that Mr. DeLamarre ordered a Calvary from the sculptor Louis Jobin. It was to be installed in 1922–23. The following year, Charles Huot painted it, his last work on this site. This Calvary is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Quebec because of the number of figures (6) and their expressions.

Meanwhile, in 1920, Abbé DeLamarre installed a Way of the Cross in the mountainside. It is distinguished by the Innus’ traits of the figures . They recall the First Nation of the region. The same year that the Calvary was placed at the Sanctuary, the provincial government inaugurated the bridge that, from that day onward, would allow vehicle access to the Sanctuary.

Abbé Elzéar DeLamarre passed away in April 1925. Not long after, the Capuchins became the owners and keepers of the site and his works, as per his wishes. He is buried under the San Tonio chapel. Wishing to perpetuate the works of Abbé DeLamarre, the Capuchins erected the Scala Santa, the Holy Stairs, for which the founder of the hermitage already had the materials.

Between 1925 and 1948, the Capuchin fathers came to Lac-Bouchette during the summer and stayed in Abbé DeLamarre’s cottage. In 1948, the convent was built, and blessed the year after when they made it their residence. Later, the Marian Chapel was erected and the outdoor chapel was built.

 

Grotte et Masabielle vers 1912-1915

1912-1920

Time went by and, in 1912, our friend was walking on a little trail he had made towards the north. Three to four acres from his hermitage, he saw a grotto through the birches that reminded him of the one in Lourdes where he had gone in 1900. He saw it as a sign from the Blessed Mother of God. Abbé DeLamarre began to think that this place could become a sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes.

With this in mind and heart, he installed a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes on the grotto’s rock and went there every day to pray. Informed of this discovery, the people from Lac-Bouchette joined him in his devotion and prayed at the grotto.

The first real pilgrimage to the hermitage dates to 1915. About 20 young adults from the Saint-Louis parish of Chambord, after chanting the Month of Mary, arrived by train to venerate the Blessed Mother.

One year later, the grotto was blessed and recognized as a pilgrimage site. It was the faith of the regional population that prompted the bishop to answer Abbé DeLamarre’s pleas. Over the summer, more and more pilgrims arrived in Lac-Bouchette. It was in 1918 that Mr. DeLamarre ordered a Calvary from the sculptor Louis Jobin. It was to be installed in 1922–23. The following year, Charles Huot painted it, his last work on this site. This Calvary is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Quebec because of the number of figures (6) and their expressions.

Meanwhile, in 1920, Abbé DeLamarre installed a Way of the Cross in the mountainside. It is distinguished by the Innus’ traits of the figures . They recall the First Nation of the region. The same year that the Calvary was placed at the Sanctuary, the provincial government inaugurated the bridge that, from that day onward, would allow vehicle access to the shrine.

Chalet et Chapelle San tonio vers 1907-1909

1906-1911

In 1906, to rest and assess his situation, Abbé DeLamarre came to Lac-Bouchette where his brother Charles already lived. The surroundings allowed Abbé DeLamarre to meditate and pray. At the time, he felt the need to create a peaceful place for himself, far from where he had been doing ministry for a long time. In the previous few months, he had been put to the test in many ways, and needed to replenish his energy. That is why he bought the land in front of his brother’s. He was then 52 years old.

Beginning in 1907, Abbé DeLamarre had a white and red house built with a small chapel that he named Ermitage San Tonio. The name Ermitage was given by the people from the region. Their thinking was that Abbé DeLamarre lived like a hermit, and so it was fitting.

When he began building on the site, Abbé DeLamarre wanted to live like a hermit and take advantage of the solitude and beauty of nature. He proposed the location to his fellow priests of the diocese.

He thought that it would be the ideal retreat and vacation place for the priests of the Chicoutimi Diocese.

Even if it was a disappointment for Abbé DeLamarre, we are happy that they chose Baie Sainte-Catherine, on the Saint Lawrence River. Mr. DeLamarre proceeded to reside there unaccompanied.

In fact, it was his family members, brothers, nieces and nephews (among them, the strongman Victor DeLamarre) who helped him build and maintain the Ermitage. With that, Abbé DeLamarre returned to family life.

Another famous person from the Lac-St-Jean region, Éva Bouchard (also known as Maria Chapdelaine), would act as his secretary.

In 1908, the small chapel was blessed and officially dedicated to Saint Anthony. Soon after, Abbé DeLamarre invited a friend of his, the famous painter Charles Huot, to come visit him at his hermitage. For ten years, the painter visited during the summer months and painted frescos and medallions about Saint Anthony’s life.

This little chapel is adorned with a tiny bell tower and, before celebrating mass, Abbé DeLamarre used to ring it. The sound attracted the attention of the people from Lac-Bouchette and they began crossing Lake Ouiatchouan to hear him chant mass.