Victoria Day is a National Canadian holiday celebrated on the Monday before 25 May. It celebrates the birthday of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Historically a special relationship developed between the Canadian People and Queen Victoria and it was in Victoria’s reign that Canada was created and established its distinct identity.
Victoria played an active role in Canada’s development. For instance, she chose Ottawa as the new capital – the Westminster of the Wilderness, and named British Columbia, and she personally encouraged Confederation in 1867. But she was also the symbolic focus of Canadian unity. Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s Father of Confederation, said that the purpose of Confederation “was to declare in the most solemn and emphatic manner [Canadians'] resolve to be under the sovereignty of [Queen Victoria] and [her] family forever”. Victoria was truly the Mother of Confederation.
Victoria Day also became for Canadians synonymous with summer weather and certain social customs developed around the day. One did not wear white before Victoria Day, gardens were not planted until the Victoria Day weekend and summer cottages were not opened until this weekend. After a long winter, the short Canadian summer is so looked forward to by Canadians that the holiday gained added significance in their lives.
Happy summer this Victoria Day - especially to our two Canadian Cluny Sisters missioned in Port au Prince, Haiti and the Cluny Generalate in Paris, France.
Today we have three Portuguese and American Canadian Sisters living and serving in Hamilton.
Maria do Ceu
Happy Victoria Day!