|Bust of St. Andre Bessette with Painting of the Death of St. Joseph in background|
Saint Andre Bessette was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI, on October 17, 2010. I cannot express enough how happy I was to see this simple and humble soul officially proclaimed a saint of the Catholic Church.
A Prayer for Saint Andre Bessette
Lord our God,
friend of the lowly,
you gave your servant, Saint André Bessette,
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,
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen
Saint André, pray for us.
Prayer Source Holy Cross Vocations
...Three years later, Alfred presented himself as a candidate at the novitiate of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal. Because of his uncertain health, his superiors had doubts concerning his religious vocation. Finally, he was accepted and given the name Brother Andre. He was made porter at Notre Dame college and was known to say: "When I entered the community, my superiors showed me the door, and I remained there 40 years without leaving." He also washed floors and windows, cleaned lamps, brought in firewood, and worked as messenger.Source: EWTN
Soon Brother Andre started to welcome the sick and broken-hearted. He invited them to pray to St. Joseph to obtain favors. Before long, many people reported their prayers were being answered. For 25 years, in his small office or in the tramway station across the street from the college, Brother Andre spent six to eight hours a day receiving visitors. He built a chapel with the help of friends and with the money he earned giving haircuts to the students of the college. He was certain that St. Joseph wanted a place on the mountain and he spent his whole life preparing a beautiful shrine in the saint's honor.
In the meantime, there was talk of healings which doctors could not explain. Brother Andre began visiting the sick and earned the reputation of miracle-worker. But he strongly protested: "I am nothing ... only a tool in the hands of Providence, a lowly instrument at the service of St. Joseph." He went even further: "People are silly to think that I can perform miracles. It is God and St. Joseph who can heal you, not I..."
On the humility of Brother Andre, Father Ronald Raab, CSC wrote:
...Brother Andre expressed his reliance on members of Holy Cross by asking for the basics of life. His black religious habit that he always wore was threadbare. He never wanted to spend money on himself. The soles of his shoes were worn out and he only reluctantly accepted new ones. Brother Andre’s room was decorated with a single bed, a wooden chair and crucifix. He was quoted often, “There’s no point in seeking material comfort because it’s more difficult, then, to follow God’s way, as one should.”Brother Bessette CSC - Humility
Brother Andre’s ideas about material belongings were not just pious, scrupulous notions. He continued to live from his upbringing of poverty and suffering. He wanted to model his religious life on people who are forced to ask for the essentials of life in order to survive. He needed to live the struggle of finding a coat that fit him and shoes that would survive the winter. Andre humbly desired to open his life to the grace of God. He timidly relied on God for everything, including every material possession. He depended on God’s grace in such practical matters so he could be an instrument of God’s greater physical and spiritual healing for all the strangers who knocked on his door...