Blessed Andrea Bessette
August 9, 1845-January 6, 1937
Alfred Bessette was born in Canada on August 9, 1845. He entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1870, taking the name of Brother Andre. He was assigned to be doorkeeper at the community’s high school in Montreal. There he fostered devotion to Saint Joseph among the sick and otherwise afflicted and soon became known as the “Miracle Man” of Montreal.
With ever bigger crowds of the poor and needy gathering in front of the school. it soon brought protests from the students’ parents and some community members. Bro. Andre, aware of this problem, asked in 1904 to build a small chapel on the hill beyond the school. This was the small beginning of the Oratory of St. Joseph that now stands there.
Bro. Andre died on January 6, 1937. His burial had to be postponed for several days until the last of more than three million people were able to pass by his bier and pay him homage. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 23, 1982.
Source: Holy Cross
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