Our Lady of Protection
There is a small miraculous statue in Quebec City called Our Lady of Protection. It was brought to Canada in 1648 by Blessed Catherine de Saint-Augustin, a Hospitaller nun from the Bayeux Community in France. It was first placed at the Hôtel-Dieu du Précieux-Sang de Québec, until its transfer in 1693.
This transfer took place when Bishop de Saint-Vallier, the second bishop of New France, succeeded in convincing the Récollets (Francicans) to sell him their monastery dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels with the intention of turning it into a hospital. The bishop bought it in 1692 and entrusted it to the Augustinian nuns. The original statue of Our Lady of Protection was then given to the General Hospital when it was founded in 1693. The Foundresses of the Hôtel-Dieu, to mark their taking possession, placed it in the sanctuary of the chapel and made a consecration to the Mother of God before it, recognizing her as the first Superior of the new Monastery.
Dozens of miracles, such as physical and spiritual healings, are attributed to this statuette. It is also attributed a great power to stop fires. One day, in 1866, a fire ravaged the village of Saint-Sauveur near Quebec City, which today we call the Saint-Sauveur district. Being a workers’ village, the houses were almost all made of wood. Even the church was not spared. A woman who had come to know the statue of Our Lady of Protection confided in her. She put an image of Our Lady of Protection on the door of her home, believing that it would be a powerful safeguard. Her faith was not deceived. Indeed, the flames, respecting the image of Our Lady, turned away in a prodigious way, and the house was spared.