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									Montreal's "Miracle Man" to Be Canonized

Brother André Called a Witness of Faith and Love

MONTREAL, Canada, FEB. 22, 2010         The bishops of Canada are calling the announcement
of the canonization of Blessed André Bessette -- known as the "miracle man of Montreal" -- as
a moment to rejoice. This past Friday Pope Benedict XVI announced that Brother André
Bessette (1845-1937), a religious of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, would be canonized
Oct. 17 2010.

Brother André lived his life with great humility. Guided by a deep faith and devotion to Saint
Joseph, he dedicated his life to praying, serving the poor, welcoming strangers, healing the
sick and comforting the suffering. To this day, his memory remains an important witness to
all Canadians, North Americans and tourist who visit the Shrine to St. joseph that he built in
Canada. .

Brother André was a simple porter who answered the door at the community's rectory house
but he had the gift of love for all he met. Brother Andre was so close to Our Lord that he was
in constant union with Him through prayer. He had such trust in St. Joseph that every day
miracles occurred through Brother Andre's prayers. Literally there were scores of miracles
every day at the Oratory of St. Joseph in Montreal.

 Brother André will be the first member of the Congregation of Holy Cross to be canonized.
The order of priests and brothers, founded in France by Blessed Basil Moreau in 1832, is best
known in the United States for its role in founding the University of Notre Dame.

Alfred Bessette was born in 1845 in Saint-Grégoire d'Iberville, near Montreal, and joined the
Congregation of the Holy Cross in 1874. He worked as a door keeper and barber at a school in
Montreal, where he earned a reputation as a healer and miracle-worker. Bessette’s
biographers recount tales of crippled rheumatics healed and fever-stricken schoolboys made
suddenly well, often aided by 'St. Joseph's oil,' a mixture that Bessette rubbed on wounds and
sick limbs after burning it under a statue of the saint. Rooted in his devotion to St. Joseph
and motivated by his compassion, Brother André dedicated his life to comforting those in
greatest need.

Pope John Paul II praised the brother as "a man of prayer and a friend of the poor, a truly
astonishing man."
Brother André died in 1937, at the age of 91. He is buried at St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal,
which he founded in 1904. He was declared venerable in 1978, and beatified in 1982.

Brother André will be canonized alongside Australian Mother Mary MacKillop, the founder of
the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Stanislaw Soltys, a 15th-century Polish priest;
Italian nuns Giulia Salzano and Battista Varano, and Spanish nun Candida Maria de Jesus
Cipitria y Barriola.

May Brother Andre's legacy remind us of what each of us can achieve through faith and love.

								
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