What we are living through with the Coronavirus, reminds us of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. Brother André and his contemporaries felt the weight of it heavy upon them. Today, many families are living in restlessness vulnerability, causing real upheaval in their lives.

With his friend, Saint Joseph helping, Brother André planted hope in hundreds and thousands of people who were seeking a way forward. He showed them realities that we often have a tendency to forget. These realities were expressed in a song composed by Father Marcel Taillefer, CSC. Here is an extract:

To you who seek a tenderness which refreshes,
To you whose work nourishes the world,
To you who create a house of solidarity for the peoples,
To the young who open themselves to life,
To those who are avid for peace and truth, for love and freedom,
To those whose yoke is too heavy,
To those who question the light of day,

God is good, he’s never far from you.
Every time you murmur:
“Our Father who art in heaven,”
He’s got his ear glued to your lips
And God is touched, and doesn’t move on.
For those who believe, he lavishes hope…

In the risen Christ, we have assurance that pain and suffering never have the last word. No matter the obstacles or the ordeals, Christ opens the way to joie de vivre, to life in abundance.

I would like to share another song which connects with Brother André. All you need do is believe, and everything is reborn, everything refashioned. Life cannot tear down hope once you believe — it is to act the opposite of those who are scared to death; it is to risk your skin as flowers do when their petals unfold to reveal their heart. To believe is to push back the night as you roar at the top of your lungs a tremendous Yes! to life.

Yet again today, Brother André helps us discover in faith, the force of life and a solidarity capable of attacking the root causes of suffering for human beings. To befriend Brother André, is to discover a way of being, of acting, able to transform our life and that of others. It is to learn the language of the heart and that of faith, so necessary for harmony in the family.

Let us pray to Saint Brother André and Saint Joseph. They will lead us to the One who is the source of life and light, to the One who opens us to the essential and allows us to realize the impossible.

Jean-Pierre Aumont, CSC