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Saint Andre Bessette

Born: August 9, 1845 in Mont-Saint-Gregorie, Quebec, Canada

Died: January 6, 1937 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Venerated: Catholic Church (Canada, the United States, and the Congregation of Holy Cross)

Beatified: May 23, 1982 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized: October 17, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI

Feast Day: January 6 (January 7 in Canada)

Patronages: Family Caregivers in Canada

Born near Quebec in 1845, Andre worked in the United States for a few years. Returning to Canada, he entered the Congregation of the Holy Cross as a Brother. Because of poor health as a child, Andre had been unable to attend school regularly and could not read or write. He was assigned as a doorkeeper at the College of Notre Dame in Montreal and remained in that capacity for over 40 years. He also performed the tasks of janitor, infirmarian, barber, gardener, and lamplighter. His piety and willingness to help others charmed the students and their parents.

Andre also developed a great devotion to Saint Joseph. People flocked to his cell to ask for his opinion and his prayers for some favor or some cure, and Andre Complied, while entrusting all to Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mother of God and foster-father of the Divine Infant. In time, he was able to have a chapel built to Saint Joseph. After his death on January 6, 1937, the shrine grew into the great basilica of Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, which is visited by pilgrims from all over the world. He was beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II.

PRAYER: O God, friend of the humble, You inspired Brother Andre with great devotion to Saint Joseph and singular dedication to the poor and afflicted. Grant us, through his intercession, to follow his example of prayer and charity, so that with him we may attain the splendor of Your glory. Amen.