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Saint Brother André

Lifelong friends & healing partners

At once, young Alfred adopted St. Joseph as his father. As he worked in various manual trades before entering the Congregation of Holy Cross, he quickly understood that St. Joseph would be a role model, a guardian and a friend throughout his entire life. Moreover, he spoke about St. Joseph everywhere he went.

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A short biography of Br. André

Alfred Bessette was born Aug. 9, 1845, into a family of 13 children in Saint-Grégoire d'Iberville, located on the south shore of Montreal. Poor and unschooled, like many other children of his era, he was orphaned at the age of 12.

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Three sons, thanks to Br. André's intercession

Deacon Brian Cordeiro and his wife, Effie, attribute the birth of their three sons to the intercession ofBrother André. The entire family will head to Rome for the canonization of Br. André in thanksgiving. Effie is to receive the Eucharist from Pope Benedict XVI during the mass of canonization.

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Popular devotion for Br. André keeps growing

When Brother André died in 1937, several thousands of people came to pay their respects. It was a clear sign of his great popularity. His popularity has never lessened since. In fact, it has been quite the opposite.

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Called to holiness, even today

Brother André considered God to be a close friend, who is also close to the ill and the needy. God is full of compassion and love, and he wants everyone's happiness. This is why Brother André developed great trust in St. Joseph, whom he petitioned to intercede for the healing of the sick.

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The making of St. Brother André

Since his death in 1937, Brother André's reputation for holiness spread throughout Quebec and around the world. Only four years after his death, his friends and fellow religious of the Congregation of Holy Cross began the process for the official recognition of holiness by the Roman Catholic Church.

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The miracle that led to Br. André's canonization

Many people were clamoring to know the miracle, which was approved by the Vatican and opened the way for the canonization of Brother André. The family of the person who was miraculously healed wanted to stay out of the media spotlight so as to keep the focus on Brother André.

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Br. André encouraged signs of faith

Brother André would often distribute two things to the sick and needy who came to visit him: St. Joseph's oil and St. Joseph medals. Neither the oil nor the medals had magical healing powers, he would say. Rather, they were objects that helped a person to express their faith, and it was their faith that made them well.

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New books tell the story of a local saint

In preparation for the canonization of Br. André, Saint Josephʼs Oratory launched three new books about the saintly Holy Cross brother Aug. 8.

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A spirituality of heart, prayer and listening

Everyone who has met Brother André has said his face communicated peace, compassion and hope. Which spirituality then nourished the simple doorkeeper of Notre-Dame College?

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Witnesses tell of healings at the oratory

Thousands people will converge on Rome for the canonization of Brother André Oct. 17. Among them are several people who have either been healed or have had family members who have experienced healings through the intercession of the new saint. Below are four such testimonies, compiled by Rolande Parrot.

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Words of wisdom spoken by Br. André

Brother André would only meet people for a few minutes at a time. Not all were healed, but all left consoled by his words. Here are some of the words of wisdom he shared with others, as recalled by his friends and fellow religious. They are translated into English and taken from the book Frère André disait souvent... Recueil de paroles de frère André rapportées par ses amis, published by Fides in June 2010.

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