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Journal of sister Véronique Cuillerier, hospitaller of Saint-Joseph. Relation of 1734.


[...]The 10 April [1734] while all was most quiet and our thoughts were far from some fatal mishap, at 7 in the evening during our time of leisure, we heard a cry of fire. In the moment, we all rose to catch sight of its whereabouts. It was sighted at a neighbouring house. We rushed to contain the fire, but the Lord did not allow us to succeed. All took refuge in our church, thinking that we would be spared, but the flames rose so ardently towards the church, which was just across the street from the burning houses, that we soon found ourselves engulfed. We quickly thought of salvaging, but it was too late; the flames were over the house instantly, so much so that the roof gave way when many went out. [There] were even two who considered staying, who were salvaging in the dormitory. They had not noticed that the neighbouring houses towards the end of the building had set fire to the side of the church, at the opposite end, so that they were engulfed from all sides, and that the main staircase was in flames, until they heard a cry from someone, who had sighted them from the windows, to save themselves, that there was not a moment to waste. They ran instantly, but were frightened at the sight of the burning stairs, where they had to go, all in flames, but still passed through and were able to escape through the infirmary that gave onto the garden where they joined the others, who thought little of the loss as we were all fortunate to have been saved.

However, we found ourselves out-of-doors, during a still very cold season and in mud to our knees. We gathered in the small chapel of the most Holy Virgin, in the centre of the garden, and there were reduced to tears, finding ourselves for a third time without our cherished monastery not knowing where to go, not being able


to hope for assistance from the people, who were victims like us of the fire. […]Numerous persons brought us refreshments, including the seminary fathers, but we were in [no] state to partake of them. [...]

Source: Archives des Religieuses Hospitalières de Saint-Joseph de Montréal, Orig. ms, 1A4 / 3 Véronique Cuillerier 1725-1747, , Cuillerier, Véronique, "Annals of the Hôtel-Dieu of Montréal," n.d., 336-337. Notes: According to the transcription by Ghislaine Legendre.

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