Monday 6 January 2020

# Feast # Saints

Saint André Bessette

The 6th of January is the feast day of Saint André Bessette C.S.C. (9 August 1845 – 6 January 1937). He is also known as Brother André or Saint André of Montreal and was born as Alfred Bessette.

Saint André Bessette was the eighth child of twelve children in a poor working class family of Quebec, Canada. He was a weak and sickly child and his father died when he was only nine years old due to a lumber accident. When he was twelve years old, his mother died of tuberculosis. He worked in various jobs and entered the Congregation of the Holy Cross when he was 25 years old as a lay brother. For most of his life, he served as a porter in Quebec’s Notre Dame College. He welcomed and prayed for people he had met, especially if they were ill or suffering. An epidemic of sickness occurred and André used his gift of healing which he credited to Saint Joseph, whom he was devoted to. He became popular for his sanctity and tens of thousands of people came to see him for healing and prayer. He answered their letters and receive people in person all day. His Order wanted to purchase a piece of land on Mount Royal, and Bessette buried Saint Joseph medals in the property. The owners then sold the land to the Order and André organised a chapel to be dedicated to Saint Joseph on it. He died at the age of 91 and a million people visited his coffin.

Saint André Bessette. (1920) Source: Wikimedia