“Saint Brother André, we celebrate your presence among us.”
This first sentence of the prayer that is offered “to obtain a special favor” through the intercession of Saint Brother André will resonate in a very special way during the month of August which is dedicated to him. More than an occasion to mark the birthday of the founder of the Oratory, born Alfred Bessette on August 9, 1845, this annual event is an opportunity to celebrate the Friend, the Brother, the Saint who accompanies us today.
Bearer of Hope
A sense of welcome, listening and compassion were the main spiritual hallmarks of Saint Brother André. He opened his door to the sick, those wounded by life and the needy, and led them to God by praying with them. He was moved when listening to how they suffered. From this humble man came a strength and faith that could move mountains.
His mission of yesterday is still the same in 2021: to bring hope in the hearts of those who need it. Someone who knew him well confirmed this: “I never brought a sick person to Brother André without that person returning home enriched. Some were cured. Others not; but Brother André had consoled them.” It is still today. Numerous testimonials attest to this.
Witness to God’s love
When his friends would ask him: “What are we going to do, Brother André, when you’re gone?” Brother André would reply: “When I die, I will be in Heaven. I shall be much closer to God than I am now. I’ll be all the more able to help you.”
And this is how the spiritual figure of Saint André Bessette, CSC, became the standard-bearer for numerous apostolates of the Congregation of Holy Cross throughout the world. On every continent, he became an inspiration and a model. Many parish communities chose him as their patron saint; schools and clinics adopted his name. To this day, he continues to serve as an example of perseverance, receptivity and openness to others.
This remarkable witness to God’s love, is ever present in the world today. To those who place their trust in him, Saint Brother André supports them and intercedes on their behalf before God.
A Month of Celebration
The activities presented at Saint Joseph’s Oratory during the month of August will highlight the spiritual figure of Saint Brother André. A triduum preceding the anniversary of his birth will have as its theme “Brother André, man of faith, compassion and hope”. For each part of this theme, a Mass with preaching will be offered at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 6 (with Fr. Claude Grou, CSC), Saturday, August 7 (with Fr. Patrick Vézina, CSC) and Sunday, August 8 (with Fr. Jean-Pierre Aumont, CSC). Two solemn Masses will be celebrated on Monday, August 9, at 8:30 a.m. in the crypt and at 7:30 p.m. in the Basilica.
Come to the Oratory this August to entrust your intentions to Saint Brother André.
Together, we will celebrate his presence among us!