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Vol. 3 No. 4 - Holy Cross 2008

Northern Nomenclature:
Mount Royal


It was the French explorer Jacques Cartier, arriving at the village of Hochelega in 1535, who first gave the prominent portion of the Monteregian Hills the name "Mount Royal", in honour of his patron, the King of France.

Yet it was another King - the King of Heaven and earth - for whom the Royal Mount would be remembered up until our present day. By 1643, the first cross had been erected on the peak by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, the founder of the city of Montréal, as a thanksgiving to the Mother of God for deliverance from a natural disaster. Recalling the Holy Cross on the mount of Golgotha, the cross of Mount Royal has been upgraded over the years as each cross fell into disrepair.

The current illuminated cross - a staggering 31.5 meters high - was erected in 1924 by the Society of St. John the Baptist. While the city of Montréal was originally named Ville Marie (the City of Mary, the Mother of God) at the time of the first French settlement, it was later changed to reflect the name of the mountain, while the city and mount together recall the entirety of the Lord's Passion.

Father Geoffrey Korz, (Holy Cross, 2008)

© All Saints of North America Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church in America, 2008.