One day long ago, maybe 20 years ago, during a guided tour of the Sainte-Anne de Beaupré Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, a Sister of Providence exclaimed: “But, Mother Gamelin is not here among the Founders of the Church of Quebec!” and the guide replied: “Well, it is up to you to submit a request.”
This is how, more than five years ago, a sister asked her provincial superior to have Mother Gamelin added to the Sainte-Anne de Beaupré Chapel display.
Then, on April 3, 2018, the provincial superior and council gave me the mandate to begin the process of requesting that Mother Gamelin be given her due place in the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Chapel.
Several steps had to be taken before everything was completed: choosing the right spot for the painting in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, contacting an artist, etc.
Pierre Lussier, an artist from the Quebec City region, was chosen to carry out this work.
After immersing himself in the life, works and spirituality of our foundress, he began working on the sketches, the characters, the colors, and the patterns. All things kept progressing until the day of the official inauguration under the episcopacy of Gérald Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec City, on June 28, 2019, in the presence of the members of the General and Provincial Leadership of the Sisters of Providence and the employees of the Emilie Gamelin provincial administration and of Pavillon Providence.
The artist’s painting (above) depicts Mother Gamelin attending a homeless person, with Dodais and a student on her right. To the left we can see an elderly person, a Sister of Providence and a boy who represents both the orphans whom our sisters welcomed in large numbers in Montreal during the typhus epidemics and the young boys educated in our kindergartens. The backdrop reminds us of the Asile of Providence on the left and period congregational houses on the right.
May Blessed Émilie Tavernier-Gamelin bless us and all the pilgrims who will honor her in this great and noble sanctuary!
by Madeleine Coutu, SP