Saint-Antoine Chapel, located at the corner of rue Laviolette and boulevard Saint-Maurice, is a place for adoration and perpetual prayer for PEACE IN THE HOLY LAND.
On August 9, 1888, the Bishop of Trois-Rivières, Bishop Laflèche, gave Father Frederic a small piece of land for the construction of the Commissariat.
Pierre Beaumier, a farmer from Cap-de-la-Madeleine, was responsible for the construction. Work began on August 27, 1888. The two-storey modest Franciscan house had 11 rooms, including a chapel where relics from the Holy Land that Father Frederic had brought were displayed. This small Commissariat was opened on September 12, 1889. A convent would be added to it in 1903. It would welcome a small Franciscan community, marking the official return of the Franciscans, who had been absent from Canada since the Récollets were expelled after the British conquest in the 1700s.
First Commissariat of the Holy Land in Canada and Franciscan Convent, Father Frederic Museum Collection.
In June 1906, construction began on Saint-Antoine Chapel, adjoining the convent of the same name. This Roman-style chapel was designed using the plans drawn up by Father Frederic and the architects Daoust and Lafond. It was built thanks to the alms Father Frederic collected in the 67 parishes of the Trois-Rivières diocese. The chapel was inaugurated and blessed by Bishop François-Xavier Cloutier on May 5, 1907. Good Father Frederic prayed there, presided at the Eucharist and welcomed many people who were in distress.
In 1911, Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Allégresses Parish was founded and given to the Franciscans. The convent’s Saint-Antoine Chapel served as the parish church for the faithful until the new church was ready.
When Good Father Frederic died in 1916, his body was placed under a black stone slab at the front of the central aisle of the church. Since his beatification in 1988, his body rests in an apse, located to the left, that was built to house his tomb.
After Vatican II (1962-1965), the chapel was redesigned. All the furniture was replaced, and the statues were removed. In 1977, D. Pouliot was responsible for the chapel’s stained glass.
The chapel is still maintained by the Franciscans. Every year they welcome thousands of visitors who come to reflect, pray and ask for favours at Father Frederic’s tomb.
- Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
- Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
The doors are opened 30 minutes before the celebration begins.
*Visitors must wear a mask.