Skip to comments.Blessed Andre Bessette - 1845-1937
Posted on 01/06/2003 4:40:54 PM PST by Lady In Blue
|BLESSED ANDRE BESSETTE1845-1937|
|Feast: January 6 (United States)
This Holy Cross Brother, known as "Frere Andre," has been credited with thousands of cures. He was the founder of St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Canada, perhaps the world's principal shrine in honor of St. Joseph. When he died at the age of 91, it was estimated that close to a million people came to the Oratory to pay their last respects. He was beatified in 1982.
Andre was the eighth child in a family of 12 and at baptism he was given the name Alfred. Orphaned at the age of 12, he tried his hand at various trades but was not successful in any of them. He could barely read and write and was sickly most of his life. At the age of 15 he became a Brother of Holy Cross but was rejected at the end of the novitiate. At the insistence of the bishop of Montreal, however, Brother Andre was allowed to make religious profession. For forty years he worked as porter at the College of Notre Dame, until he was needed full time at the shrine of St. Joseph. People from all over Canada came to him for cures or for spiritual direction. The Oratory that he built in honor of St. Joseph was solemnly dedicated in 1955 and raised to the rank of a minor basilica. Message And Relevance
Message And Relevance
The Opening Prayer of the Mass describes two characteristics of the spirituality of Brother Andre: his deep devotion to St. Joseph and his "commitment to the poor and afflicted. " For many years he gathered funds to replace the primitive chapel with a suitable church, even cutting the hair of the students at five cents each. His concern for those who needed spiritual healing and support led him to spend 8 to 10 hours a day receiving clients. He became so well known that secretaries had to be assigned to answer the 80,000 letters he received annually.
If one were to seek the outstanding virtue of Brother Andre one would have to say that it was his humility. He once said: "I am ignorant. If there were anyone more ignorant, the good God would choose him in my place. " And when the power of healing was attributed to him, he responded: "It is St. Joseph who cures. I am only his little dog."
The significance of the life and works of Brother Andre for today's Christian is the fact that this humble Brother, who could scarcely read or write, was chosen by God as an instrument for good. As we read in the Preface for Martyrs, God reveals his power shining through our human weakness.
Opening Prayer Lord our God, friend of the lowly, you gave your servant, Brother Andre, a great devotion to St. Joseph and a special commitment to the poor and afflicted. Through his intercession help us to follow his example of prayer and love and so come to share with him in your glory.
Taken from "Saints of the Roman Calendar" by Enzo Lodi, published by Alba House, 2187 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10314, copyright (c) 1992.
Provided Courtesy of:
I have a prayer card from May 1946 for his canonization. It has a small cloth piece that touched his body.
Favors granted through the intercession of Brother Andre are referred to SAINT JOSEPH'S ORATORY OF MOUNT ROYAL - 3800 QUEEN MARY ROAD - MONTREAL CANADA
BTTT on 01-06-05!
BTTT on the Optional Memorial of Blessed Andre Bessette, January 06, 2006!
It is quite beautiful except for the large basilica which is thoroughly modern - built in the 60s. I first saw it as a kid in @ 1972 and I didn't care for the 'modernist' design even back then (guess I was already a traditionalist as a kid).
Brother Andre was a simple and holy man devoted to St. Joseph. Thanks again for the reminder! I will ask Brother Andre to pray for me today - having a tough week.
Blessed André Bessette
Brother André expressed a saints faith by a lifelong devotion to St. Joseph.
Sickness and weakness dogged André from birth. He was the eighth of 12 children born to a French Canadian couple near Montreal. Adopted at 12, when both parents had died, he became a farmhand. Various trades followed: shoemaker, baker, blacksmithall failures. He was a factory worker in the United States during the boom times of the Civil War.
At 25, he applied for entrance into the Congregation of the Holy Cross. After a years novitiate, he was not admitted because of his weak health. But with an extension and the urging of Bishop Bourget (see Marie-Rose Durocher, October 6), he was finally received. He was given the humble job of doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal, with additional duties as sacristan, laundry worker and messenger. When I joined this community, the superiors showed me the door, and I remained 40 years.
In his little room near the door, he spent much of the night on his knees. On his windowsill, facing Mount Royal, was a small statue of St. Joseph, to whom he had been devoted since childhood. When asked about it he said, Some day, St. Joseph is going to be honored in a very special way on Mount Royal!
When he heard someone was ill, he visited to bring cheer and to pray with the sick person. He would rub the sick person lightly with oil taken from a lamp burning in the college chapel. Word of healing powers began to spread.
When an epidemic broke out at a nearby college, André volunteered to nurse. Not one person died. The trickle of sick people to his door became a flood. His superiors were uneasy; diocesan authorities were suspicious; doctors called him a quack. I do not cure, he said again and again. St. Joseph cures. In the end he needed four secretaries to handle the 80,000 letters he received each year.
For many years the Holy Cross authorities had tried to buy land on Mount Royal. Brother André and others climbed the steep hill and planted medals of St. Joseph. Suddenly, the owners yielded. André collected 200 dollars to build a small chapel and began receiving visitors theresmiling through long hours of listening, applying St. Josephs oil. Some were cured, some not. The pile of crutches, canes and braces grew.
The chapel also grew. By 1931 there were gleaming walls, but money ran out. Put a statue of St. Joseph in the middle. If he wants a roof over his head, hell get it. The magnificent Oratory on Mount Royal took 50 years to build. The sickly boy who could not hold a job died at 92.
He is buried at the Oratory and was beatified in 1982.
Blessed André Bessette, Religious
Blessed André Bessette (1845-1937), born near Quebec, entered the Congregation of the Holy Cross as a Brother. He performed humble tasks for over forty years and entrusted all of the poor and sick who flocked to his cell to the care of St. Joseph. During his life he built a chapel to the spouse of the Virgin Mary. After his death, the shrine grew into the great basilica known as St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
Lord our God, friend of the lowly,
You gave your servant, Brother André,
a great devotion to Saint Joseph
and a special commitment to the poor and afflicted.
Through his intercession
help us to follow his example of prayer and love
and so come to share with him in Your glory.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
Readings are taken from holy men and women (for religious)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.