Our Lady Of The Harbour – The Montreal Church Embedded In Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne


“And the sun pours down like honey / On our lady of the harbour”

Sally Hunter writes,

I was sorting though my camera data cards today, as I am accompanying 160 Grade 7’s to Quebec City tomorrow, and wanted to make sure I had lots of memory. I found these pictures taken last year in Montreal. I did two trips last year, one to Quebec City and the other to Montreal and Quebec City. These trips are lots of noise and hustle and bustle. On my last day in Montreal, I had a little bit of time to myself before we once again rallied the troops. I stole away for some peace and quiet to Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, better known to you as the Church where “… the sun pours down like honey, On our lady of the harbour…” The Lady of the Harbour faces the St. Lawrence River, and blesses the men in the boats who travel along the river. I am enclosing a shot of the interior of the Church. It is a most remarkable colour of blue and small ships hang from the ceiling.

The photos are among the best that I’ve seen of  The Lady of the Harbour, especially in their display of detail. (Note, for example, the starry halo over her head.) I hadn’t noticed the angels, one of Cohen’s favorite allusions, that are easily seen around the pedestal in the photo below.


And, until Sally called it to my attention with this superb photo, I was completely unaware of the gorgeous interior of the church.


Cohencentric appreciates not only the quality of these outstanding photos and Sally’s generosity in sharing them but also the courage and resilience demonstrated in her continuing willingness to brave the rigors inherent in accompanying a horde of seventh graders on those field trips.  A prayer or two in Sally’s behalf might not be out of place.

Note: Originally posted May 2, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, the predecessor to Cohencentric.