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In 1673, Father Pierre-Joseph-Marie Chaumonot founded the first mission with a group of Hurons. Father Chaumonot named the place Lorette after his devotion to the Virgin of Loretto, in Italy, where he was miracously cured. The first chapel, a replica of the Loretto shrine, was built in 1674. A year later, 300 persons were part of the small community. In 1697, soon after Father Chaumonot's death, the Hurons founded a new village further up north. The new village was named New Lorette while the first village became known as Old Lorette. In 1722, the name of Ancienne-Lorette was definitely given to the old village.

François de Montmorency Laval, bishop of Quebec, created a parish in 1678 in this area and a first parish priest was assigned in 1698. Archives, kept in the rectory's vault, date back to 1676.

The actual church, the fouth one, was built between 1907 and 1910 upon plans prepared by David Ouellet and his adopted son, Pierre Lévesque. The architect was found of the mixture of styles: Fine-arts, Classical and Gothic. The nave and galleries can accommodate 1460 persons and the steeples are 71-meter high. In 1908, the contract to finish the interior of the church was awarded to the Paquet & Godbout firm of St. Hyacinthe.

Inside the church, the high altar was made by Laurent Moisan from Orleans Island. Many paintings, that were hung in the church, were given up to the Quebec Museum of Fine Arts. The crystal chandeliers were made by the T. Latourelle firm from Montreal. The Madonna located in the façade of the church between the two bell towers, it is one of Louis Jobin's major works. It is a 5-meter high statue. The wooden core is covered with metal sheets (copper and lead) and guilded with gold leaf.

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Additional Photos by Terry Sio (terrysio) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 123 W: 0 N: 94] (715)
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