About Us > History of Martyrs' Shrine

History of Martyrs' Shrine

Martyrs' Shrine has been a holy and historic place of worship for nearly 100 years and continues a nearly 400 year story of love and discovery with St. Jean de Brébeuf and his companions. There is much to discover and explore, and on this page we can only give you a glimpse into the Shrine's rich history.

 

Timeline

1907
1907

Beginnings of a Humble Shrine in Waubaushene

The Martyrs’ Shrine that you see on the hill today in Midland, Ontario replaced a much smaller Shrine by the same name in Waubaushene, about 12km from the present Shrine. In 1907, Archbishop Denis O’Connor of Toronto blessed this small chapel near the site of martyrdom of Fathers Jean de..Read More

1925
1925

Construction of St. Joseph’s Church

Construction of St. Joseph’s Church

In June of 1925, Father John M. Filion, then Provincial Superior of English speaking Jesuits across Canada, felt the need for a larger shrine that would be closer both to pure spring water and to the Sainte-Marie mission. Filion purchased the Standin brothers’ farm on the hill across the road..Read More

1926
1926

Completion of the Shrine Church

Completion of the Shrine Church

On June 26, 1926 in advance of Fr. Filion’s deadline, the church was finally built. It was a long fall and winter season for Fr. Filion and the tradesmen battling the Canadian weather to erect the Shrine church in time. On the following day, June 27, the weather turned warm..Read More

1930
1930

Canonization of the Canadian Martyrs

Canonization of the Canadian Martyrs

Nearly four years to the day later, on June 29, 1930, as Pope Pius XI was canonizing the eight Canadian Martyrs in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, another vast congregation gathered in front of the altar at the 12th Station of the Cross on the hill overlooking Georgian Bay. Once..Read More

1940
1940

Purchase of Saint-Marie

Purchase of Saint-Marie

At the end of the Depression, it took three years of appeals for director, Fr. Lally to collect the $4,000 purchase price of the Sainte-Marie property from a local businessman. It was a top priority. With the site now finally back in Jesuit hands in 1940, Fr. Lally wanted archaeologists..Read More

1964
1964

Opening of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons

Opening of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons

In 1964 the Jesuits negotiated an agreement between the Upper Canadian Province of Jesuits and the Government of Ontario whereby the historic site of Sainte-Marie and adjoining land on the south side of highway 12 were leased to the Provincial Government for 100 years for a consideration of one dollar...Read More

2022
2022

Martyrs’ Shrine Throughout the Years

Martyrs’ Shrine had evolved throughout the years and had created various branches in which to serve the community. It remains a priority commitment of the Canadian Jesuit ministry. It has formed itself into something modelling that of the original Jesuit-led Sainte-Marie mission which served as a centre of retreat, spiritual..Read More