The grotto of Notre-Dame-des-Monts


The Grotto of Notre-Dame-des-Monts in Sainte-Adèle was built in recognition of a first class miracle in 1931. We must go back one year earlier, to 1930, to witness the miracle performed on one of the sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame.

Sister Saint-Philippe of the Cenacle made her profession in 1928 and fell ill a few months later. Believing it was a sinus problem, the doctors decided to operate on her twice. During the second operation, a problem arose: the jaws of Sister Saint-Philippe du Cénacle contracted and became permanently fused. After several months of observation, her condition deteriorated and the doctors convinced the young sister, who was 20 years old at the time, to saw her teeth so that a tube could be inserted to feed her properly. Since her condition did not improve at all, the General Council and the doctors decided to transfer her to the Congregation’s sanatorium, located in Sainte-Adèle, in May 1930. Since Sister Saint-Philippe of the Cenacle was unable to move, a nursing sister took care of her. Her roommate, another seriously ill nun, also supported her. August arrived and her roommate received water from her family from Our Lady of Lourdes. Assisted by the nurse, she decided to make a novena of the Assumption before August 15 to help and relieve the pain of Sister Saint-Philippe du Cénacle. A few drops of water from Our Lady of Lourdes were given to her to drink every day. On August 14, the day before the feast of the Assumption, the nurse decided to rub her jaws. She then asked Sister St. Philip of the Cenacle to open the jaw, which she did immediately. At the sight of this miracle, her joints were rubbed and the different parts of her body were in turn rubbed with the water of Lourdes. Within minutes, Sister St. Philip of the Cenacle was sitting up in bed. She was then taken to the chapel, where she got up and walked to a bench. The news spread quickly, the nuns of the general council and the doctors came to the sanatorium to see this miracle for themselves. In the weeks that followed, Sister St. Philip of the Cenacle regained her health. She even lived to be 86 years old. The grotto was erected a year later, following a promise, to commemorate and prolong the memory of this miracle.

Built on May 28 and blessed on October 22, 1931, the Grotto of Our Lady of the Mounts is an ex-voto in recognition of a miracle experienced by Sister Saint Philippe of the Cenacle. The grotto was built by Mr. Larsen, a Montreal nurseryman, in front of the sanatorium with Carrara marble from Italy and field stones. There were also two wooden bridges, a prie-Dieu and rustic furniture. The electric lighting of the candle of the Virgin was installed on July 15, 1933. Since it is a grotto commemorating a miracle, the news spread in the region and on a large scale. The grotto was much visited by the local population, tourists and many sick people looking for another miracle from the Virgin.

The first major pilgrimage took place on August 8, 1935. More than 500 people were present to listen to the recitation of the rosary and many songs. In 2002, restoration work uncovered intentions sealed in the base of the grotto of Notre-Dame-des-Monts. These intentions, some of which dated back to 1933, were placed back in the base, along with new intentions written by the sisters of the Maison Notre-Dame-des-Monts and their employees. Today, the grotto is well maintained and the nuns of the Congregation still visit it on certain occasions.



-Panneaux historique se trouvant sur le site de la grotte

Notre-Dame-des-Bois, programme-Souvenir, 1877-1952, pages 62 et 68