The Chapelle Ste Agnès was built in 1993 by Henrietta Antony, a Montreal antique dealer. It was Mrs. Antonys intent to build a timeless structure of great beauty that would elevate the spirit and bring peace to passers-by. The Chapel is built of solid stone in a Romanesque style. It is home to many of Mrs. Antonys ecclesiastic artifacts, collected over a 45 year period. Born in what is now the Czech Republic, Mrs. Antony consecrated the Chapel to Saint Agnès, a thirteenth century Bohemian saint.
Saint Agnes was a princess, who at age 8, was engaged to the future Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. As such, she received the best education that the Middle Ages could provide. When she came of age, she decided to give up the life of fame and fortune, and devote her life to orphans, the sick, and the elderly. She founded an Abbey of Poor Claires in Prague, and became its first Abess. Saint Agnes also founded a male order of knights, the Crusaders of the Red Star, a hospitalier order.
The walls of the Chapelle Ste Agnès were erected by Michel Dodier, a Compagnion and Master Mason from France. Mr. Dodier is an 11th generation mason. The framework of the structure is the work of Thierry Pautard, Compagnion and Master Carpenter. The magnificent slate roof was built by Marc Guillemjouan, Master Slate Worker. He used specialized antique tools to shape the fish scale rows of slate. The paving stones which lead to the Chapel were unearthed by an excavator in Old Montreal, and date to the founding of the City in the 17th century.
The main doors of the Chapel once led to a cellar at les Hospices de Beaune, in Beaune, Burgundy. They were made of solid oak during the reign of Louis IV, though the frame dates to the late gothic period. The three stained glass windows are German, and date from the 17th century. To protect them during hunting season, bullet proof glass was installed.
Inside the Chapel, the enchantment continues. Each object, statue, or religious accessory has its own history from Europe, Quebec, and even the Philippines, as in the case of the Little Jesus of Prague. The marble columns that outline the columbarium came from a bombed out Benedictine abbey in Italy. The marble mosaic on the floor was created by Emilio Mongiat, of Montreal.