Mary, Queen of the World, Cathedral
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|Mary, Queen of the World, Cathedral
|Style||Renaissance and Baroque|
|Length||101.5 metres (333 ft)|
|Width||45.72 metres (150.0 ft)|
76.8 metres (252 ft) (cupola)
|Official name: Marie-Reine-du-Monde Cathedral National Historic Site of Canada|
Mary, Queen of the World, Cathedral (French: Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde) is a minor basilica in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the seat of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Montreal. It is the third largest church in Quebec after St. Joseph's Oratory (also in Montreal) and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré east of Quebec City. The church is located at 1085 Cathedral Street ( ) at the corner of René Lévesque Boulevard and Metcalfe Street, near the Bonaventure metro station and Central Station in downtown Montreal. It and the connected Archdiocese main buildings form the eastern side of Place du Canada, and occupies of dominant presences on Dorchester Square.
The sacrament of baptism is celebrated in the small chapel. The marble baptismal font is surmounted by an impressive stucco crucifix sculpted by Philippe Hébert. The crucifix is one of the most important pieces of religious sculpture in Quebec.
Its size is as follows; length 333 ft.(101m), width 150 ft.(46m), height of cupola 252 ft.(77m), diameter of cupola 75 ft.(23m).
The construction of the cathedral was ordered by Mgr. Ignace Bourget, second bishop of Montreal, to replace the former Saint-Jacques Cathedral which had burned in 1852. His choice to create a scale model of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome was in response to a rivalry with the Sulpician order who had been the feudal seigneurs of Montreal, and with the Anglican Church, both of which favoured the Neo-Gothic style instead. The site also sparked controversy due to its location in the western part of downtown, in a then predominantly English neighbourhood far from the homes of the French-Canadian church-goers.
The first architect, Victor Bourgeau, refused the project after studying St. Peter's, claiming that it could not be reproduced on a smaller scale. The undeterred bishop sent Fr. Joseph Michaud, the chaplain of the Papal Zouave volunteers of Montreal, to produce a scale model to work from. At the time, the Holy See was threatened by the nationalist troops of Victor Emmanuel II, king of Piedmont, who was attempting to assert control over all Italy including papal territories, and the priest's mission in Rome was secret.
Work began in 1875 and the new church was consecrated in 1894 as Saint James Cathedral, after Saint James the Great, the patron of the parish the church served. At the time it was the largest church in Quebec. It was made a minor basilica in 1919 by Pope Benedict XV. It was rededicated in 1955 to Mary, Queen of the World, by Pope Pius XII at the request of cardinal Paul-Émile Léger. (The pope had proclaimed this title for Mary in his 1954 encyclical Ad caeli reginam.)
Instead of the statues of the twelve apostles on the façade of St. Peter's, the front of the church is topped by statues of the patron saints of thirteen parishes of Montreal who donated them, including St. John the Baptist and St. Patrick. The interior, which is also copied from St. Peter's, includes a baldachin which is a scale model of Bernini's
In the last few years, the cathedral's esplanade and narthex have undergone significant reconstruction. The exterior statue of Bishop Ignace Bourget was cleaned and restored in 2005.
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See also 
- Roman Catholic Marian churches
- List of cathedrals in Canada
- List of basilicas in Canada
- Montreal's other basilicas:
- McCord Museum - St. James Cathedral, Metcalfe Street, Montreal, QC, 1886
- Marie-Reine-du-Monde Cathedral National Historic Site of Canada. Directory of Federal Heritage Designations. Parks Canada. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Marie-Reine-du-Monde Cathedral. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral|
- Marie-Reine-du-Monde (official site, in French)
- Basilica-Cathedral of Marie-Reine-du-Monde on Images Montreal
- 360 panorama of the cathedral Mary, Queen of the World
- Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral: Photo Gallery by The Catholic Photographer