He was greeted by Fr. Claude Grou, CSC, rector of the shrine that was founded by Saint Brother André more than a century ago.
The prime minister’s half-hour visit included the original wooden chapel that Brother André had built in honour of St. Joseph, the saint's tomb, the basilica, the votive chapel, where hundreds of pilgrims pray and light candles every day, and the relic of the heart of Brother André.
The prime minister also greeted and shook hands with some pilgrims who were visiting the oratory at the same time as he.
Fr. Grou, who gave the prime minister the tour and explained Brother André's biography and the history of the oratory, was very satisfied with the visit, said communications officer Mylène Forget. The prime minister seemed impressed with the story of Brother André and his accomplishments, she added.
This was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first visit to the oratory.