The Gardens of the Way of the Cross
St. Joseph Cathedral Garden
Located to the east of the basilica, the Gardens of the Way of the Cross are one of Saint Joseph’s Oratory’s best kept secrets and a very good place to meditate. The 16 stations unfold amidst an artfully landscaped terrain.
The project of creating a Way of the Cross out of stone, to replace the rustic wooden crosses, emerged in 1935. Work on the 200,000 square-foot area to the east of the basilica begun in 1942. Famous landscape architect Frederick Todd designed a pathway meandering around the flank of the mountain.
Montreal artist Louis Parent conceived this major artwork. His Way of the Cross has 14 of the traditional stations to which he added a marble monument depicting the Resurrected Christ and a reflecting pool with the Fountain of Redemption. In total, the grouping comprises 42 characters, each approximately 9 feet high, which the sculptor modeled in his workshop at the Oratory, between 1943 and 1953.
The statues in the Gardens of the Way of the Cross were carved out of Indiana limestone by Ercolo Barbieri, between 1952 and 1958. Louis Parent designed the pieces to blend harmoniously into the natural environment.