André Bessette

Blessed André Bessette: A Humble Servant of God's Miracles

Have you ever heard the fascinating story of Brother André, the humble doorkeeper who is now revered as a blessed saint in the Catholic Church due to his extraordinary faith? Allow me to share the incredible journey of André Bessette, a man defined by his simplistic lifestyle, unwavering devotion to Saint Joseph, and miraculous healing capabilities.

A Life of Humility: The Early Years of André Bessette

"When you say to God, Our Father, He has his ear right next to your lips." - St. Brother André

Born Alfred Bessette on August 9, 1845, in Saint-Gregoire d'Iberville, Canada, the man who would eventually be known as Brother André was one of twelve children. After being orphaned at a young age, he spent his early years drifting between jobs, notably working as a farmhand, shoemaker, blacksmith, baker, and coachman.

The Call to Serve: André’s Journey into Religious Life

In 1870, driven by an innate sense of spirituality and an overwhelming desire to dedicate his life to God, André joined the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal. Despite his weak physical health, he was deeply devoted to his faith, serving as a humble doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Côte-des-Neiges for over four decades.

A Miracle Worker: André Bessette’s Healing Powers

Within the ordinary duties of his humble position, Brother André found his extraordinary calling. Known for his great devotion to Saint Joseph, he often recommended prayer to those who came to him seeking help. Stories began to circulate of miraculous healings linked to these prayers and to oils he gave from a lamp burning in front of a statue of Saint Joseph.

Faith Manifest: The Creation of St. Joseph’s Oratory

With each miracle, Brother André's reputation grew. His dream of constructing a shrine to Saint Joseph began to take shape with the building of a small chapel in 1904. By his death in 1937, this place of worship had transformed into the grand St. Joseph's Oratory, one of the most visited shrines in North America today.

Final Days and Canonization

Brother André passed away on January 6, 1937. More than a million people paid their respects during his funeral held at St. Joseph's Oratory. On October 17, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI formally canonized him, giving recognition to his world-renowned sanctity and miraculous healing powers. Today, he is venerated as Saint André Bessette all over the globe.

André Bessette’s Legacy: A Testament to Faith

"It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisite details." - St. Brother André

St. André Bessette's story reminds us of the power of faith, even when it exists within the most humble circumstances. As Catholics, we can look to him as an example of complete trust in God's providence. His simple existence, coupled with the miraculous healings, are testaments to the overarching belief that faith can indeed move mountains.

Let us offer a prayer for this remarkable saint:

"Dear St. André Bessette, you were a humble servant of God, performing countless miracles through your faith and dedication. May you assist us in our spiritual journey, enabling us to surrender our hearts entirely to God and find peace in our lives. Amen."

In the Footsteps of a Saint: Living Our Faith in the Light of André Bessette

As we recount the inspiring story of St. André Bessette, may we aspire to adopt the core message of his life: humility, faithfulness, trust, and compassionate service. From his humble beginnings as Alfred Bessette to his transformation into a globally recognized saint, his life offers a blueprint on how to lead a life dedicated to God and His divine plan.

Whether we choose to chronicle the tale of André Bessette's life, marvel at his dedication to Saint Joseph, or draw inspiration from his miraculous healings, we cannot but immerse ourselves in the humility and faith of a simple doorkeeper who became a beacon of hope for the masses.

Miracles Continue: André Bessette’s Eternal Presence

Today, as we walk the corridors of St. Joseph's Oratory, we reflect on the immense faith and devotion of its founder, St. André Bessette. Like the millions before us who found healing and comfort through his intercession, may we draw strength from his legacy and experience the miracles he continues to bestow from Heaven.

In our journey of faith, let the life and lessons of Saint André Bessette serve as our guide, inspiring us to live a life of humility, dedication, and undying trust in God’s will. In the pursuit of sainthood, may we find in Brother André a companion and a source of divine inspiration.

May the story of André Bessette continue to inspire and guide us, reinforcing the belief that even the simplest among us can become instruments of God's miraculous work. Let us pray to Saint André Bessette, asking him to intercede on our behalf, and like him, may we too learn to serve and love God with profound humility and unwavering faith.

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Remembering Brother André - Catholic Focus

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La vie du saint frère André de Montréal, l’humble portier qui guérissait les malades (1845-1937)

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Miracles | Brother Andre Miracle | 430 | 3

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What is saint Andre the patron saint of?

Saint André, also known as Brother André Bessette, is the patron saint of the sick and those with a physical disability. He is also recognized as the patron saint of caregivers. His devotion to Saint Joseph and his dedicated service to the ill and afflicted are significantly noteworthy aspects of his sainthood.

What is saint André Bessette known for?

Saint André Bessette, also known as Brother André, is a significant figure in the Catholic Church, recognized for his deep faith, humility, and extraordinary healing powers. Born on August 9, 1845, in Quebec, Canada, he was canonized as a saint by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17, 2010.

Bessette was incredibly devoted to St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and stepfather to Jesus. He attributed all his reported miracles to this humble saint and continually urged those who came to him for healing to pray to St. Joseph.

Brother André is best known for the miraculous healings associated with his name. Despite having no formal education or significant social status, he welcomed those who were ill and prayed with them. There are countless anecdotes where people attested to being healed of their illnesses after these encounters. These cases ranged from minor ailments to significant disabilities and diseases.

Also noteworthy was Bessette's remarkable contribution to the construction of St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Canada. Despite considerable challenges, his unwavering faith inspired thousands of people to donate towards this cause until the basilica was finally completed. Today, St. Joseph's Oratory stands as the largest church in Canada and the third-largest in the world.

In the broader context of sainthood and the Catholic Church, Saint André Bessette serves as a shining example of simple yet unwavering faith, demonstrating that saints can come from all walks of life.

How many people did Andre Bessette heal?

Brother André Bessette, a humble lay brother of the Congregation of Holy Cross, is credited with countless miraculous healings. It's said that during his lifetime in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he interceded in thousands of alleged healing miracles. While the precise number isn't documented, his saintly reputation resulted primarily from his reputed gift for healing the sick. The Catholic Church, in view of his canonization, officially recognizes at least two posthumous miracle cures attributed to his intercession. However, both during his life and after, people have attributed many more miracles - perhaps into the thousands - to the intercession of Saint Andre Bessette.

What are 3 interesting facts about St Andre Bessette?

1. St. Andre Bessette was originally named Alfred Bessette and he was born on August 9, 1845 in Saint-Gregoire-d'Iberville, Quebec, to a poor, devoutly Catholic family. He was the eighth of 12 children, and he experienced poverty and hardship from an early age. After losing his parents by the age of 12, he was raised by a devoted Catholic aunt.

2. Despite being illiterate and suffering from frail health, Bessette was deeply religious. He joined the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal, and became "Brother Andre." He had a deep devotion to St. Joseph, whom he considered his spiritual father. He became known for his dedication to the Saint and for his care and compassion for the sick and afflicted.

3. Bessette is known for miraculous healings. Many people reported that they had been healed after praying with Brother Andre, especially those who visited the small chapel he built in honor of St. Joseph, which later became St. Joseph's Oratory - Canada's largest church. After his death in 1937, the miracles attributed to him continued, leading to his beatification in 1982 and canonization as a saint in 2010.

What are the most notable miracles associated with Saint André Bessette?

Canadian-born Saint André Bessette is known throughout the world for his deep faith, humility, and incredible devotion to Saint Joseph. His life was marked by numerous miracles that are both inspiring and noteworthy.

Firstly, it is important to mention the miracle of his own life. Born with a weak constitution, his parents died when he was young, leaving him an orphan. It's considered a miracle that he survived those early years, given his fragile health conditions.

One of the primary miracles associated with Saint André Bessette is related to his healing powers. Throughout his life, many people came to him seeking help, comfort, and healing from various ailments. Known as the "Miracle Man of Montreal", he is believed to have healed thousands of sick people during his time at the Oratory.

One notable story is of a man suffering from rheumatism who was unable to walk. After several visits to Brother André, praying to St. Joseph, and using a medal blessed by Brother André, the man was able to walk again. These miracles were never claimed by Brother André himself but were rather attributed to his devotion to Saint Joseph.

Another example of his miraculous healing was a mother who brought her blind son before him. She told Brother André about her son's condition, and he rubbed the boy's eyes with oil from a lamp that was dedicated to Saint Joseph. The boy gained his sight immediately.

Moreover, a key miracle happened after his death. In order for his canonization to take place, a modern-day miracle needed to occur. This came in the form of a man being healed from a critical illness after praying to Brother André. Doctors were unable to explain or validate the sudden recovery using medical science, leading them to determine that a miracle had indeed taken place.

Lastly, the construction of Saint Joseph's Oratory, which is today one of the world's most frequently visited shrines, is also considered a miracle. Despite facing multiple setbacks, with his relentless efforts and faith, the oratory was built with contributions from people to whom he ministered. As a testament to his work, it continues to serve as a place of pilgrimage and healing.

How did Saint André Bessette contribute to the development of the Catholic Church in Canada?

Saint André Bessette made significant contributions to the growth and development of the Catholic Church in Canada. Born Alfred Bessette in 1845, this humble lay brother of the Congregation of Holy Cross would later be known as the "Miracle Man of Montreal" for his incredible life dedicated to faith, service, and purported miracle healings.

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In 1904, he was instrumental in establishing St. Joseph's Oratory, a Catholic shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph, in Montreal. This oratory, believed to be the largest church in Canada, still stands today as a monument to the faith and determination of Saint André.

Most importantly, his reputation for performing miracles and answering prayers attracted numerous flock to the Catholic Church from far and wide, thus significantly growing the size of the congregation. Bessette is said to have healed thousands of sick individuals, attributing the miracles to Saint Joseph. His humility and devotion to prayer greatly influenced the faithful and inspired many conversions.

Bessette's humility, despite his fame, set a powerful example for Canadian Catholics. He lived a simple life and dedicated himself to service, demonstrating the virtues of compassion, kindness, and humility which remain as a key foundation of Canadian Catholicism.

Finally, the canonization of Brother André in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI provided a major boost for Catholicism in Canada. He became the first male Canadian-born saint, a beacon of hope and faith for Canadian Catholics, especially the Quebec community. His sainthood reaffirmed the universality of the Catholic Church and emphasized that holy lives can emerge from the most ordinary occupations.

Overall, Saint André Bessette played a vital role in shaping the history and spirituality of the Catholic Church in Canada through his unwavering faith, humble living, and charitable works.

Can you describe the journey of André Bessette towards his canonization in the Catholic Church?

André Bessette, born as Alfred Bessette in 1845, was a humble orphan who led a life dedicated to devotion and faith. He was known for his humility, kindness, and the reputed miracles associated with him. This path led him to become the first man born in Canada to be declared a saint by the Catholic Church.

Bessette joined the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal in 1870. He was assigned as a doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Côte-des-Neiges, hence his nickname, "The Miracle Man of Montreal". His role was not a grand one, but it allowed him to interact with many people. He would often pray with the sick and give them medallions of Saint Joseph (the patron saint of Canada).

Miraculously, those he prayed for frequently experienced improved health or were cured entirely, leading people to believe Bessette had healing powers. It's estimated that Brother André, as he was known, was visited by more than 100,000 people annually, all seeking his healing intercessions. Though he always maintained that any healing was due to Saint Joseph, not him.

In 1904, Bessette started the construction of St. Joseph's Oratory, a tiny chapel on the mountainside near the college. Over time, it expanded and became a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics.

Brother André passed away on January 6, 1937. Over a million people filed past his coffin during the days following his death. The process for his canonization began soon afterwards, with him being declared ‘Venerable’ by Pope Paul VI in 1978.

On May 23, 1982, Brother André was beatified by Pope John Paul II, the third step in the process towards sainthood, after having a miraculous healing attributed to him.

The final 'miracle' needed for his canonization involved the healing of a man suffering from severe cranial injuries. After family members prayed to Brother André, the man made a full recovery. Following this, Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree recognizing the miracle on December 19, 2009.

Finally, on October 17, 2010, André Bessette was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI. He is celebrated as a model of Christian humility and love, symbolizing the power of faith and dedication.

How did Saint André Bessette exemplify the virtues of humility and hospitality in his life and works?

Saint André Bessette, a humble and hospitable man, lived his life in the service of others, fully embodying these virtues throughout his life.

Born into a poor family and orphaned at an early age, André Bessette entered the Congregation of Holy Cross as a lay brother. Despite his low rank and responsibilities as a doorkeeper, he found ways to impact those around him positively.

Humility was a virtue that characterized Saint André Bessette. He never took credit for the miraculous healings attributed to him, instead acknowledging them as God's work through Saint Joseph. He deemed himself merely an instrument, a conduit for God’s power and love. This deep sense of humility set him apart, and he remained a humble servant until his death, despite his fame for performing miracles.

Hospitality was another hallmark of Saint André Bessette. His role as a doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal was more than just a job; to him, it was a mission. He sought to make everyone feel welcomed and cared for. He treated every visitor with respect and kindness, regardless of their status in society. He would listen to their problems, pray with them, and provide comfort.

In addition, Saint André provided for the sick and the needy. With donations he received, he built a chapel in honor of Saint Joseph where he would welcome the ill, showcasing his hospitality on a grand scale.

Therefore, through his acts of humility in attributing all his healing works to God and Saint Joseph, and his constant extension of hospitality to all who came to him, Saint André Bessette exemplified these virtues in his life and works.

What is the significance of the Oratory of Saint Joseph, and how is it connected to Saint André Bessette?

The Oratory of Saint Joseph holds significant importance in the context of Catholic saints as it is directly connected to the life and works of Saint André Bessette.

Constructed under the direction of Brother André, as he was commonly known while alive, this monument dedicated to Saint Joseph stands as a testament to Brother André's deep faith, devotion, and humility. Born Alfred Bessette on August 9, 1845, he was a sickly child who eventually devoted his life to the brotherhood after losing both parents by the age of 12.

Upon joining the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal, Brother André was assigned the humble job of doorkeeper at Notre Dame College. It was there that his reputation as a healer and miracle-worker began to spread. Many believed their cures were due to Bessette's prayers to Saint Joseph, to whom he had an extraordinary devotion.

As the number of devotees grew, Brother André decided to build a chapel in honor of Saint Joseph. Starting out as a small wooden structure in 1904, the Oratory of Saint Joseph gradually grew into an enormous basilica, thanks largely to donations from the ever-increasing number of pilgrims. Despite its grand scale, the Oratory is a symbol of Brother André’s simple and profound faith, showcasing the power of prayer and compassion.

Saint André Bessette was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17, 2010, making him the first person from the Congregation of Holy Cross to be declared a saint. His feast day is celebrated on January 6. Today, the Oratory remains as a place of prayer, healing, and pilgrimage, welcoming millions of visitors each year, and serves as a lasting tribute to Saint André's unshakeable faith in God and his devotion to Saint Joseph.