Religious heritage

In addition to the artistic cultural heritage, Saint Joseph's Oratory in Quebec City has a valuable religious cultural heritage: the Pious Union of Saint Joseph and the devotion to the Seven Sorrows and Seven Joys of Saint Joseph.

Religious heritage

The Pious Union of Saint Joseph

We know nothing about the death of St. Joseph, except that he was the first member of the Holy Family to die, probably surrounded by Jesus and Mary. So he had what is called a good death. For these reasons, he is the caregiver and spiritual companion who helps the dying and the bereaved.

The community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Vallier established the work of the Pious Union of St. Joseph in Quebec City to promote devotion to this patron saint of the dying. This pious union is a crusade of prayer for the dying to guide them to a good death.

To have a good death means to die with full awareness of your last moments.

Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Quebec City receives registrations for the Pious Union of Saint Joseph. They are passed on to the nuns who pray at the Oratory and they are sent to the International Center in Rome in order to unite them with the world crusade of prayers for the dying.

Book Pious union - Religious heritage

Religious heritage

Devotion to the seven pains and seven joys of St. Joseph

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Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Quebec City is the depository for America of the practice of devotion to the seven pains and seven joys of Saint Joseph.

This devotional practice originated in Belgium where it has been practiced for many years. Saint Joseph is said to have taught it to two sailors whom he saved from a shipwreck in the Flanders Sea. He promised his protection to all those who would embrace this devotional practice.

Even today in Belgium and Quebec, the faithful gather to participate in the Sunday services in preparation for the feast of Saint Joseph. The Seven Sorrows and Seven Joys of St. Joseph are based on seven Gospel passages related to St. Joseph: the Incarnation of Jesus, the birth of Jesus, the Name of Jesus, the Presentation of Jesus in the temple, the flight to Egypt, the return from Egypt, and Jesus found in the temple at age 12.

To practice this devotion, the faithful gather at the Oratory for a service on each of the seven Sundays preceding the feast of St. Joseph on March 19.

These services are punctuated with songs, prayers, Bible readings and spiritual reflections.