|Theology of the Heart- Life of the Saints- St. André Bessette|
Feast: January 6
He was born in the town of Saint Grégorie (Canada) in 1845. He became a religious of the Congregation of the Holy Cross and was an extraordinary promoter of the devotion to St. Joseph. He placed the foundation of the basilica that is today a place that is the largest place of pilgrimage to St. Joseph in the world. He was a man of prayer, a friend of the poor, and an extaordinary man. He is known as "the miracle man of Montreal".
For his entire long life he was “a poor and humble servant”, as is stated on his epitaph. From his childhood, he was very sickly and weak and the doctors did not believe that he would live very long. Until the age of 25, he was a worker on farms, and factories. In the Congregation of Holy Cross, for nearly 40 years, he was entrusted the task of doorkeeper in his school in Montreal. Despite this work, he decided to visit and care for the sick. The cures he accomplished were innumerable, and thus he gained a great reputation as a man of miracles. His devotion to St. Joseph led him to build, near the school, a small oratory, where the Lord could be honored. Years later, he placed the foundation for what would be the magnificent basilica that we admire today. From whence came this extraordinary capacity? God was pleased to give him such energy because he was a simple man, poor in all things but with great confidence in God.
Misunderstanding and teasing were not lacking because of the success of his apostolate, which he endured with extraordinary patience and good humor. In the midst of everything, he always remained happy, simple and available to all, praying long and hard for the sick, living himself in the manner which he taught other to live.
He died a holy man on January 6, 1937 in the city of Montreal, Canada at the age of 90 and was burined in the oratory.
He was beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II and was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on December 17, 2010. He is the first canonized Saint of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
This page is the work of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary