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St. Laurent Shrine

Duck Lake RM 463, Saskatchewan, S0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/12/13

The St. Laurent Shrine (rectory), 2008; Robertson, 2008
Rectory, view from the south, 2008
The St. Laurent Shrine (church), 2008; Robertson, 2008
Church, view from the south-west, 2008
The St. Laurent Shrine (cemetery), 2008; Robertson, 2008
Cemetery, view from the south-east, 2008

Other Name(s)

St. Laurent Shrine
Our Lady of Lourdes - St. Laurent Shrine
Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine Inc.
St. Laurent de Grandin

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1883/01/01 to 1883/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/05

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The St. Laurent Shrine is a Municipal Heritage Property located 11 kilometres northeast of Town of Duck Lake at the former settlement of St. Laurent de Grandin in the Rural Municipality of Duck Lake No. 463. The historic resources of the 32.4-hectare property adjacent to the South Saskatchewan River includes a wood-frame rectory, log church, landscaped grounds, a grotto and a cemetery.

Heritage Value

The St. Laurent Shrine, known also as the Our Lady of Lourdes – St. Laurent Shrine, is of heritage value for the many religious miracles which are reported to have occurred here. Since 1884, many people have believed that they were cured of ailments and illnesses by the spring water which flows from the hillside. Additionally, in 1890, a projection of light on a former convent wall in the form of a crucified Christ is said to have lasted several days. The first formal pilgrimage to the site occurred in 1905, and it has since been the destination for annual pilgrimages. The site was first associated with Our Lady of Lourdes in 1879 when a priest stationed here identified many similarities between the site and that of Lourdes, France, a place famous for religious wonders. Henceforth, the site of the spring became a place of prayer and a shrine was established in 1881, with the addition of a grotto the following year. In 1885 a statue was donated and placed at the site in appreciation of the first healing to occur. The statue remains an important element of the site. The grotto has been rebuilt many times over the years, most recently in 1951.

The St. Laurent Shrine property is also of heritage value as an important Métis settlement and Catholic Mission. Settlement of the site was permanently established in 1873 by Father Alexis Andre and Métis settlers who had left Manitoba in 1870. The settlement also attracted other Métis in subsequent years and by the early 1880s represented a model parish. It became a religious centre for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and a base for the founding of other missions in the region. As a Catholic mission, the site comprised a church, dormitory and residential school, and a convent. The rectory building was constructed about 1883 and is the last remaining structure from the missionary period of the site. A log church was re-established on the site in 1938, but was destroyed by fire in 1990. The present church on the site is a replica of the 1938 church.

The heritage value of the property also resides in its association with the 1885 Conflict. During the battle between the local community, dominated by the Métis, and the Canadian military, the site served as a place of refuge for community members. The cemetery contains the graves of several local residents killed during the battle. The community upheaval which followed the 1885 conflict eventually resulted in the mission being closed in 1894.

Source:

Rural Municipality of Duck Lake No. 463 Bylaw 6-1982.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the St. Laurent Shrine resides in the following character-defining elements:
-the contextual elements of the site such as its location overlooking the South Saskatchewan River and the relatively natural and undeveloped character with broad lawns, groves of trees and bushes;
-those elements of the property relating to its status as a shrine, such as the hillside location and ornamental rock-like appearance of the grotto;
- the elements of the property associated with its role as a Métis settlement, such as the hillside cemetery with monuments, grave markers and wrought-iron entry archway;
- those elements of the property which relate to its status as a Catholic mission, such as the two-storey, wood-frame construction rectory with front gable roof, central entry, and two-over-two, hung-sash windows and the replica church situated on its historic location with its crucifix form, log construction, jerkinhead roof, and spire with open belfry and surmounting cross.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Saskatchewan

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date

1982/12/13

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1873/01/01 to 1894/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure

Historic

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mission
Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Community
Settlement

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Saskatchewan Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: MHP 93

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 93

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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