From Rome to Montreal: Importing Relics of Catacomb Saints Through Ultramontane Networks, 1820-1914

  • Michel Dahan


This article explores one of the most intriguing Catholic devotions of the nineteenth century: how relics of Roman catacomb saints came to occupy a significant place in the religious beliefs and practices of many Montreal Catholics. From 1820 to the early twentieth century, these ancient remains were brought from Rome to Montreal and placed under the altars of churches. The devotion to catacomb saints, this article argues, demonstrates how ultramontane piety developed and was experienced in Montreal. It also reveals how the belief in the miraculous power of these relics shaped Quebec’s Catholic culture.