A Friend. A Brother. A Saint.
It’s been ten years already. Not by accident was Brother André canonized on October 17, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. His whole life was dedicated to relieving the sufferings of others, giving them hope and telling them they were beloved by God.
The history of Holy Cross religious in Canada and especially in Québec is deeply marked by the person of Saint André Bessette, CSC. From his first days in the community, Brother André was to say the least a conundrum. In a community oriented towards teaching and pastoral ministry, how to integrate the deeds of this man, who by his unconditional acceptance and his intense prayer, began to attract crowds?
Amid tasks as doorkeeper at Collège Notre-Dame, Montréal, a clear call to welcome suffering people became clear to him. Very quickly, he was regarded as a friend, a brother to those who confided in him. After the death of Brother André in 1937, his mission continued to grow.
Today, Saint André remains for many of us, a source of pride, energy, and life. He teaches us, says Jacques Gauthier, that “Holiness is not a medal awarded to a select few, but grace that we receive from God… Saint André shows us how to be a saint day after day through loving, welcoming, listening, forgiving, serving, smiling, offering a hand, trusting, uniting oneself to God in faith, hope, and love… .”
Saint André reveals to us at the same time the meaning and relevance of religious life today: giving over one’s life, being at the service of life, living in communion with all creation.
Jean-Pierre Aumont, CSC