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Category: Brother André

Companion of Saint Brother André

Brother André, a listening heart. A man of prayer and great simplicity, he embodied John the Baptist’s words to Jesus: “He must increase but I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). His reputation as a miracle worker and saint spread quickly. Yet the humble religious man never even sought recognition, let alone glory. He never stopped calling himself “the instrument of Saint Joseph,” his companion in spiritual life.

Brother André for Life

By David Bureau

Archivist, Roland-Gauthier Archive and Documentation Centre

January 31, 2024 Brother André

150 years ago, on February 2, 1874, Brother André, known in the secular world as Alfred Besset, pronounced his perpetual vows as a religious of the Holy Cross. The newspapers of 1924 highlighted this golden jubilee, emphasizing the figure of the good brother and his dedicated work to Saint Joseph, which was developing on Mount Royal.

150th Anniversary of Brother André’s Profession, CSC.

By Claude Grou, c.s.c.

Member of the Pastoral Team of Saint Joseph's Oratory

January 31, 2024 Brother André

One hundred and fifty years ago, on February 2, 1874, Brother André confirmed his commitment to live as a religious of the Holy Cross. Three years earlier, at the end of his novitiate, the superiors had hesitated to accept him into the community. There were concerns that, with his fragile health, he might be unable to actively participate in the mission of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

A Time to Give Thanks

By Claude Grou, c.s.c.

Member of the Pastoral Team of Saint Joseph's Oratory

October 4, 2023 Brother André, Fêtes et célébrations, Spiritualité

Every year in October, we celebrate Thanksgiving. This harvest time encourages us to give thanks for the bounties of nature. At the Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, we give thanks to the Lord for His bountiful gifts, but we give thanks in a very special way for this place of welcome, prayer, and peace, and for the one who made it possible, Saint Brother André. On October 19, we commemorate the anniversary of the first Mass celebrated in 1904 in this small oratory on the mountain, and on the 17th, we also give thanks on the anniversary of Brother André’s canonization.

With Saint Brother André, (re)immerse yourself in the life-giving source of Holy Scripture.

Scriptures have the ability to introduce God into our lives much like the sun brings light to the earth. The journey through the Bible can be surprising, beautiful, shocking, or bewildering, but powerful; at times, life seems to spring forth from God’s Word like clear blue skies with an irresistible force.

Brother André, Patron Saint of Caregivers

In this month of Saint Brother André, Patron Saint of Caregivers, we want to highlight the importance of those who devote much of their time and energy to people who are ill and isolated because of their age or loss of autonomy. Following the example of the Canaanite woman in the Gospel of the August 9th liturgy, and of Saint Brother André, caregivers know that life is no match for hope when it comes to believing. Believing as an immense yes to life.

A Poor Man in Whom God is Recognized

In October 1995, delegates from the poorest families in several countries came to Quebec to speak at the UN. Philippe, one of the leaders who was working to promote the dignity of the poorest individuals and families through his involvement in the ADT Fourth World* movement, and who was preparing to welcome them, wrote to me: “We feel very close to Brother André’s commitment and spirituality, and we hope that these delegates will be able to visit the Oratory and discover Brother André’s life.”

Peace of Heart

One day, I had the pleasure of meeting Armand and his wife. They were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. As a gift, they had asked a friend to take them to the Oratory. Armand’s wife told me with great pride: “The first thing we did, the day after our wedding, was to come here to the Oratory. We’ve always had great confidence in Saint Joseph and Brother André. Armand and I wanted to come here to celebrate.”

Devotion to Saint Joseph: a Legacy of Blessed Basile-Antoine Moreau

By Gaël Jeannin

Archivist, Province canadienne de la congrégation de Sainte-Croix

March 6, 2023 Brother André, Faith, History, Religious Heritage, Saint Joseph

In 1904, Brother André Bessette, a Holy Cross religious, created a shrine to Saint Joseph in Montreal. Every March, the patron saint of the universal Church is celebrated there. Did you know that Blessed Basile-Antoine Moreau, who was born in the Sarthe department in France in 1799 and was the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, is considered one of the forerunners of devotion to Saint Joseph in the 19th century?

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

By Claude Grou, c.s.c.

Member of the Pastoral Team of Saint Joseph's Oratory

February 2, 2023 Brother André, Feasts and Celebrations, Spirituality

Today’s liturgy is the result of a long evolution in which two elements come together. A celebration of the presentation of Jesus in the temple and a celebration of light. On Christmas night we celebrated Christ, who came to be the Light of the World. Forty days later, this light enters the temple.

The temple, which for the Jewish people was the place of God’s presence among his people, now receives the Light of the World. The ancient rituals of presentation in the temple and purification are suddenly transformed by a light and two people, witnesses of this waiting people, are present to welcome the one who comes to illuminate the temple. They are there to testify that the time of waiting is now over and that the time of full realisation of the promise has arrived.

Brother André, a friend, a saint, a source of pride and life for all of us

It is no coincidence that Brother André was canonized on October 17, 2010, the world day for the fight against poverty. His whole life was dedicated to alleviating the suffering of others, to give them hope and to tell them that they are loved by God.

With Joseph, welcoming Jesus into our lives: “The Lord saves”

This Sunday’s gospel reveals God’s message to Joseph. Through the dream he had, Joseph is invited to enter into God’s plan by welcoming Mary with her child because this unborn child comes from God. Through the angel, God asks Joseph to give this child a name that corresponds to his mission: “You shall call his name Jesus, that is, The Lord and Savior. (Mt 1:21) The evangelist Matthew concludes, “When Joseph awoke, he did what the angel had told him to do.” (v.24)