29 June 1843
St. Jean Baptiste
On Saturday last, a solemn mass was celebrated in the Catholic Cathedral, in honor of the Patron Saint of the Society of St. Jean Baptiste. The Catholic Bishop of Montreal presided at this August ceremony. The vicar general, Messire Hudon, celebrated the Mass, and the Reverend Messire Roup gave an excellent and appropriate sermon on the occasion. The Pain Beni was unusually splendid, and of eighteen stories high! All concerned seemed desirous to render this ceremony as imposing as it was magnificent.
The Lady Mayoress accompanied the four bearers of the Pain Beni, and offered it at the Altar.
The collection in the body of the church was made by Mesdames Lafontaine, Delisle, and Donegani- that in the galleries by Messieurs Cherrier and Leblanc.
The band of the 71st Regiment was stationed near the Organ, and played several national airs. The solus was chanted by Messrs Fortin, pere et fils, of Laprairie, and Mr. F. Cherrier, organist of the cathedral. The choir acquitted themselves admirably in the chorus.
Some one had spread a report, that in consequence of the terrible disaster at Boucherville, the celebration of this mass was deferred- notwithstanding which an immense crowd attended divine service. The members of the temperance society, established under the clergy of the cathedral, to the number of about one thousand, attended in procession with their beautiful banners, at about half past eight o’clock. The mass over, the temperance society filed along Notre Dame street, followed by the band of the 71st Regiment, playing the air of “Vive la Canadienne.” After the band was a banner, representing on one side the figure of St Jean Baptiste- and on the other side a Canadian habitant- each surrounded with a wreath of maple leaves and buds.
After the banner walked the honourable DB Viger, the president of the association, accompanied by his honor the mayor.
After these came a crowd composed of the members of the committee, and other citizens, who marched four deep. The whole, after making a short detour, returned to the cathedral- where God Save the Queen having been played, the meeting dispersed.
If the spirit with which this procession would have been got up, had been something damped by the recent terrible catastrophe at Boucherville, there was enough to prepare us for the magnificence and esprit de corps likely to be displayed on the next anniversary.