Taken from the Booklet,
Welcome to Notre Dame
by Thomas F. Murphy
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1963
About the Author
The Rosary Dominates
The Beginning of the Cape
The Long Night Begins
The Dark Night of the Cape
Origin of the Statue
The Coming of the Dawn
The Vow and Its Reward
The Building of the Bridge
The Start of the Shrine
A Crypt for Father Frederic
A Sign From Our Lady
Founding of the Annals
The Arrival of the Oblates
Embellishment of the Grounds
A Perpetual Rosary
The Pilgrim Statue and Second Crowning
The Rosary Basilica
A Dream Fulfilled
Devotions at the Cape
The Pilgrim Statue
The Story of Claudette
Favors and Prayers
This is the new edition of the
brochure: "Welcome to 'Notre-Dame
du Cap'". I wish to dedicate it to the memory of Thomas Murphy; it was
he who wrote it originally and revised it a few months before his
death, September 21, 1972.
Tom was born in Ireland. He lived
there as a youth, went to primary and
secondary school there, and graduated from the University of Dublin. He
left his native land and came to live in the United States a few years
after his marriage. He loved to go back to Ireland to visit his
relatives and friends . . . but he was always happy to return to
America [Richmond Hill, New York], his new homeland.
He and his wife came to the Shrine
for the first time in 1960. This
visit made a lasting impression upon him.
all joined to win him
over and make him a staunch friend of Our Lady of the Cape, a zealous
promoter of her devotion.
Upon returning home, he began to
lecture with slides to various groups
in the New York and New Jersey areas. He spoke to several groups
belonging to different associations: the Catholic Daughters of America,
the Rosary Society, the Holy Name Society, the Knights of Columbus, and
He continued these lectures up to
the month of April, 1972, when his
health prevented him from giving any more. All monies which he received
from these lectures plus the money collected from the sale of his
booklet were sent to the Shrine at Cap-de-la-Madeleine. In the words of
his wife: "Tom always loved to give these slide-lectures and thus
spread the devotion to the Blessed Mother".
His devotion to Mary was
it made him a dedicated Christian. To meet him and to know him was a
pleasurable and rewarding experience. Each year brought him back to the
Shrine with his wife. We welcomed him with sincere joy as a true
friend, and he himself was always happy to return to Her whom he loved
so deeply and whose devotion he promoted so zealously.
Sometime during his prolonged and
fatal illness (cancer of the bone
marrow), his wife, who knew of and shared his devotion to Mary, offered
to accompany him on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Tom answered: "My Lourdes
is the Shrine of Our Lady of the Cape". . . .
Father Noel Poisson, O.M.I.
Director of Pilgrimages
"Cead Mille Failte!"-------"A
hundred thousand welcomes!"
is the way the Irish people greet you when you visit with them.
Our Lady, too, says a hundred
thousand welcomes to you as you visit Her
at the Cape. As a pilgrim you have given up a good deal to come here.
Perhaps you could not really afford this pilgrimage but you felt you
had to come to satisfy that inner voice which has been urging you to
make this trip. And now you are here-------here
at the National Marian Shrine of Canada and the center of a Rosary
Confraternity over 2 1/2 centuries old, and you are amazed how relaxed
you are and how peaceful and serene everything seems.
Have you noticed how easy it is to
pray at the foot of the Miraculous
Statue? How easy it is to pour out all your troubles to Our Lady? How
everything seems sane and orderly again.
You see, there is no need to put
out the "welcome" mat here, because
Our Lady has Her arms wide open in loving welcome to one and all, to
the able-bodied and the infirm, to the rich and the poor, to the Saint
and the sinner. But no matter who you are, She is glad to welcome you
and glad that you came here to Her Shrine. You need have no fear,
because Our Lady will place Her cloak around you and yours.
But there is too much French
spoken here, you will say. Of course there
is French spoken here because almost everyone around this area has been
raised and nurtured on French. That does not mean that you are lost,
because quite a few speak English and anyhow the universal language of
love for Our Blessed Mother seems to smooth our paths. Besides, all the
notices are bilingual and most of the Oblate Fathers speak English as
well. So relax and enjoy your Pilgrimage! Enjoy a pilgrimage? Yes. You
see, Our Lady, I think, likes to look upon us all as Her Children and
even as our earthly mother loved us more when we were smiling, so, too,
our Heavenly Mother likes to see us visit Her with a smile on our lips.
She knows the anguish and aches that grip our hearts and the sorrows
and worries that gnaw away never-endingly. How much more She will love
us when She sees how bravely we bear our crosses. So as I said, enjoy
your pilgrimage and relax. After all, it has been a sacrifice to come
here, and now don't spoil it all by being morose. Remember how you
worried whether the pilgrimage leader would make it interesting and
whether you would like the rest of the group or even enjoy the trip?
Well, she did, you did, and you do like the group! In fact, right now
you are probably wondering how it is that everything goes so smoothly.
That's a story which would fill a book if I were to give you the
details. So again, I repeat, relax both mentally and physically.
Since the beginning of the 19th
century, Our Lady has made more visits
to Her earthly children than in any other period in the history of the
Catholic Church. She has given Her messages to us at very many places
and in many different ways but you may have noticed that underlying all
these messages is the message of penance and prayer. Penance for the
terrible sins that man commits against His Maker, those terrible sins.
that are calling out for vengeance and of which this modern world seems
to take no heed. Prayer for the salvation of the sinners and the
conversion of Russia from the horrors of Communism. Again and again She
has stressed how important it is to recite the Rosary and how much
pleasure She gets from a Rosary well prayed. Time and again She has
warned against impending disasters to all mankind unless we heed Her
pleas. But like an indulgent mother, how graciously She rewards our
smallest efforts. How beautiful it must sound to our Blessed Mother to
hear the Angel's salutation repeated often and so lovingly by Her
earthly children. "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee" was the
way the Angel Gabriel greeted Her so many, many years ago and Her heart
responded to that message and made Her our Co-Redeemer. Therefore, can
we marvel at the powers of a Rosary well said when we repeat again and
again that same salutation?
you noticed here at the Cape that the Rosary has been given so much
and tremendous emphasis? It is one of the few Shrines where the Rosary
such honour. At Fatima, people are concerned with the Rosary as a
at Lourdes, I think you see that the Baths and the Blessing of the Sick
project to the front; at La Salette the mountain and the Message of
seem to dominate the picture. So it is at most places. But not here at
because the whole Shrine is permeated with devotion to the Rosary and
reminders to keep you aware that this is the Shrine of Our Lady of the
to Her Most Holy Rosary. Maybe now you are sitting on a bench by the
Lawrence river and you can hear from the little Shrine the murmur of
people's voices as they recite the Perpetual Rosary. Or perhaps you are
towards the Shrine Chapel and you notice that the Rosary Bridge has
iron and wood beads representing the Rosary. Even as you go over the
either side are the beautiful replicas in bronze of the Mysteries of
Rosary. Still another reminder is the Rosary design on the banks of St.
But above all, the greatest reminder you will have is the Rosary n the
of the pilgrims as they pass through the grounds. Yes, this is truly
the Rosary Shrine!
At La Salette and at Fatima, Our
Lady requested prayers against
impending disasters, and She said "If my requests are granted, Russia
will be converted and there will be peace". It is just that simple. We,
you and I, hold the balance of peace in our hands. Forget altogether
the gatherings of the diplomats and the policy-makers; forget the
threats and counter-threats that are hurled back and forth; forget the
puny and infantile efforts that man is making to save the world. But
never forget for one moment that it is you and I who can save the
world. Because unless all nations pray and heed our Blessed Mother's
call, impending disaster will come and nothing will stop it because the
arm of Her Son got too heavy for our Mother to hold. So you see, your
coming here had a purpose and Our Lady has called you to visit Her
Shrine so that you can help avert the coming disaster. All that has
happened in this century could have been averted had mankind heeded Her
messages. And even today there are too few who are aware of the
lateness of the hour. It would seem that the forces of good and evil
are locked in a deadly struggle and we find hard to see who is winning.
But we know who is going to win. The result is inevitable because our
Lady has never lost a fight to Satan. "I will put enmity between you
and the woman, between your seed and her seed; He shall crush your
head, and you shall lie in wait for His heel." (Gen. 3, 15). This is
the message that the Holy Spirit has left for us but even so, we cannot
relax for a moment if we do want to see the Age of Mary flourish
because, for that Age to flourish, we must help promote devotion to Her
and through Her, to Her Divine Son.
What message did She leave here at
the Shrine? How many times did Our
Lady appear here and to whom? Why does the Rosary get such prominence?
These and many more questions are plaguing you right now and you
deserve an honest answer. The best way to answer you is by outlining
briefly the history and story of the Cape.
write to the Shrine:
rue Notre-Dame Est
Rivières, Québec, Canada
SITE OF THE SHRINE