Saturday, 25 September 2010

Canada Trip Day 15: La Chapelle du Musée & Musée de l'Amérique française

27 June 2010 - Since admission tickets to the Centre d'interprétation de Place-Royale were also available at the Musée de l'Amérique française (Museum of French America) reception, we decided to purchase both. Both museums are under the management of.Musée de la civilisation (Museum of Civilization), which we did not visit.

I was curious as to how French civilisation came about in Quebec City and was, thus, looking forward to the Museum of French America. It is a huge disappointment that picture taking is not permitted to a collection of some very interesting and exquisite exhibit items and paintings. It is the oldest museum in Canada with a history that dates back to the 1600s. There were three exhibition halls:

1) I, Augustinian: Woman of Action, Sister of Faith
 This hall exhibits the life of Augustinians, nuns who not only so devotedly carried out their religious duties and the duties of running the convent, but also helped save lives, other than spiritual ones, with their medical expertise. These are women of strength, who aside from the mentioned above roles, also helped in managing the hospitals. We also learned the different steps to take in order to complete the rites of profession as an Augustinian sister. Some of the exhibit items include day-to-day crockery items, clinical and surgical tools, ledgers and management records and pictures of these amazing women. This exhibition will run till 20 March 2011.

2) ON THE ROAD: : The Francophone Odyssey
This showed the spread of French communities by sea, road and rail and included exhibits that displayed the type of crafts or skills these early European settlers specialised in such as railway workers, farmers, fur traders and retailers. There were videos and audios display which allow a visitor to get a feel of how life was for these French immigrants.

3) Séminaire de Québec, Wisdom and Works
This hall houses a rich collection of items of the Quebec Seminary (founded by  Monseigneur François de Laval, an important historical person of Quebec City and first bishop of New France) residences owned by priests including vials in the shape of Sacred Heart like here and chalices made of precious metals.

The location of  Musée de l'Amérique française is a little funny as we have to go through La Chapelle du Musée (Museum Chapel) before taking a lift to get to a lower level. Extremely interesting finds in this chapel are relics of locks of hair, bones and ashes of departed saints. It just reminded me of the Buddha's hair relic that was kept at Botahtaung Pagoda during my Myanmar visit and a private collection of Prophet Mohammad's hair during an Islamic exhibition in Brunei many years ago. I didn't know we, Christians, keep hairs and bones on displays in churches. I only knew of incorruptibility of saints bodies but hair and bones are new to me. Anyway, the chapel has been used to hold conference, seminars and concerts as shown here.

Some of the photos are credited to Sakana.

Entrance to  Musée de l'Amérique française

Congregation hall

Altar, stained glass windows and paintings

Stained glass window of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Jean Paul II to pray at the tomb of Blessed François de Laval, 8th September 1984

Blessed François-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval's tomb entrance

Blessed François-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval's tomb (30 April 1623 – 6 May 1708)

Chapel corridor with walls lined with miniature bust statues of saints

Corridor with decorative pillars leading to Mother Mary's altar

Pipe organ at the upper floor

Sacred relics

Sacred relics of bones

It was from this guide documents, we came to learn about the relics.

Other relics placed in ornamental displays

Close-up of ornamental displays

Bust statue of saints

Elevator to get between Chapel and Museum

Man working at the lawn outside  Musée de l'Amérique française

  Musée de l'Amérique française entrance

Entering Séminaire de Québec exhibition hall.

No comments: