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St. André Bessette: A Mountain of Miracles


While chatting with some kin just a few days in the past, I mentioned how blessed these of us in Northeastern North America are to have Shrines devoted to so many Saints. This week alone, we rejoice the Feasts of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. John Neumann, and St. André Bessette. (Miracles carried out by all three are detailed within the guide Nothing Short of a Miracle,by Patricia Treece.) My household is especially dedicated to St. André. He prayed over my maternal Grandmother Bertha Hamel Bennett when she was a bit lady, and he or she was healed of crippling arthritis.

St. André’s intercession is well-known in my diocese (Ogdensburg, New York), the place he usually visited. Numerous devoted retold tales of miracles, together with a Sister of St. Joseph who was cured from debilitating rheumatoid arthritis when she traveled from Rochester, New York to Montréal, Québec to see St. André.

A Montréal native, Stephen Hebert, shared his close to loss of life expertise. Hebert developed Meningitis C in February 1991. Ten folks contracted it and, on the age of 24, he was the one survivor. “This micro organism plunged me into a ten day coma and created a bunch of issues,” he shared. “Every single one among them could possibly be lethal. To provide you with a normal thought of the state I used to be in, I had 5 cardiac arrests, kidney failure, an odeama to the mind and one to a lung, and my blood stress was so low, I used to be shedding circulation to my proper foot.”

Hebert wished to go to St. Joseph’s Oratory, the shrine that St. André constructed, however was too sick. However, you could possibly say that St. André got here to him. “My uncle, who was a priest, came visiting me on the intensive care with a bit of fabric that belonged to Br. André and a few St Joseph’s oil. He knew an outdated priest on the Oratory and advised him about me, in order that’s how my uncle obtained the material. He wrapped my foot within the fabric with St Joseph’s oil, to the good despair of docs, and advised me to be affected person. After a few week, the necrosis was gone apart from the tip of the toes. I had these amputated, however simply the final articulation of every toe (all 5). It was a lot better than shedding a foot. I used to be capable of do any sport and climb something, so that is really one of many many miracles I had and likewise the very fact of getting the piece of fabric, that relic with out telling anybody.”

 When Corine Guay Giroux was a younger mom, she misplaced her means to stroll after giving beginning to her first little one. She by no means thought that she would have extra youngsters. Her great-grandson, Fr. Joseph W. Giroux, realized that “Br. André prayed together with her and he or she was cured. If it wasn’t for Br. André, I wouldn’t be alive.” 

Another mom, Carolyn Pierce, skilled St. André’s intercession in her household’s life. When they had been at a farm commerce present, she recalled, “My youngest son Michael was concerned in a horrible accident involving some gear and sustained very extreme head trauma. I simply began telling (possibly shouting) to my household to ‘pray to St. Joseph, pray to St. André.’”

“The miracles started immediately,” she continued. “There was a life flight helicopter and crew close by, so it was out there to fly Michael to Upstate Medical Children’s Hospital (Syracuse, New York). As I adopted in a automobile, I referred to as many individuals asking for prayers for Michael’s life; one was an expensive good friend on the Cathedral and I requested her to unfold the phrase to monks and church neighborhood and beg for prayers. When Michael arrived at Upstate, there was a surgical procedure crew already there; a particular nurse, who was nearly to go off obligation, stayed to assist with the surgical procedure. She got here to be a particular good friend, supporter, and advocate for us throughout our keep.  Michael had surgical procedure for a cranium fracture and mind trauma, and we had been advised it might be a number of days earlier than we knew if he would survive.”

“We endured many ups and downs over the subsequent few weeks/months as he was in ICU, then to the pediatric ward, then to rehab,” Ms. Pierce elaborated. “At first, he couldn’t breathe or eat or transfer. Wonderful monks on the hospital got here and anointed him a number of occasions.  Miraculously—as a result of I really consider that’s what it was—he began to make progress. Even the nurses and docs later advised us that along with his accidents they didn’t anticipate he would get better with out severe disabilities—if in any respect. Each follow-up surgical procedure and go to introduced extra ‘miracle’ stories, from therapeutic of eye issues, no injury to listening to, repairing his cranium, strolling and speaking and consuming once more.”

In 1935, when Fr. Gilbert B. Menard was seven-years-old, he was bedridden with pneumonia for months. It appeared {that a} remedy would by no means come. Then, an area monsignor got here and prayed over him. The monsignor blessed the incision, the place docs had drained puss from Fr. Menard’s lungs throughout his lengthy hospital keep, and touched it with a St. Joseph medal and prayer card of St. André. Within hours the remainder of the puss drained and in just a few months Fr. Menard was again at school.

When Fr. Jack L. Downs was seven, he contracted rheumatic fever. He needed to keep at house from college for a 12 months. All of his joints would ache when there was a rain storm. The physician mentioned that his mother and father ought to maneuver to Arizona to offer Fr. Downs some reduction. He went for 5 years to get a shot each week on the physician’s workplace. The solely workouts he was allowed to do had been strolling and skating. He went to day by day Mass and parochial college. His coronary heart muscle healed, however he nonetheless had the ache.

In 1941, when Fr. Downs was twelve years outdated, his pastor led a parish pilgrimage to St. Joseph’s Oratory. Fr. Downs was excited to go to Montréal for the primary time. They visited a number of holy websites, provided Mass on the Oratory, and prayed on the tomb of St. André. The entire parish was interceding for him and lots of people went. Amidst all the joy, Fr. Downs didn’t understand that—regardless of the rain and lengthy day—he had no ache when he arrived house. He hasn’t had any ache since. “I by no means actually talked about it or thought a lot about it till later in life.” When he needed to have a whole bodily, the physician mentioned: “How have you ever coped with the ache in your joints all of those years?” Fr. Downs replied “I haven’t had any ache since I used to be twelve years outdated.”

The secret to St. André’s sanctity was his humility. St. André attributed no miracles to himself and referred to as himself St. Joseph’s little canine. He was born in Saint-Gregoire d’Iberville Quebec, Canada, August 9, 1845, and raised in a religious French Catholic household. By the time St. André was twelve, each of his mother and father had died, and he was despatched to stay and work with kin. St. André’s father was a carpenter like St. Joseph and his mom had a terrific devotion to St. Joseph which she handed on to little André, who was a sickly little one. St. André “had already usually considered Saint Joseph watching over the Child Jesus and he had made up his thoughts to mimic this saintly Workman, for he additionally was to observe over the Infant God Whom he carried always in his soul by divine grace and Whom he acquired with such deep piety in Holy Communion” (St. André: The Wonder Man of Mount Royal, H. P. Bergeron, CSC, 15).

St. André confronted many challenges, particularly as he tried to grow to be a Holy Cross Brother. He grew in holiness and acquired the good items of compassion for the sick and therapeutic, by way of the intercession of St. Joseph. He wished to construct a Shrine to St. Joseph on Mt. Royal throughout from the school the place he labored as a doorkeeper, in Montréal, Quebec. He started with poor well being, little schooling and no cash and even his personal Brothers mentioned it was unimaginable. Still, St. André positioned whole religion in God and the help of St. Joseph. A medal of St. Joseph was buried within the floor, the place St. André wished to construct the Shrine, and numerous prayers had been provided. Miracles occurred. A small Church was constructed, then a bigger one. When the partitions stood and there was no cash for a roof, St. André positioned a statue of St. Joseph within the center and mentioned that the Saint would supply his personal shelter; with St. André’s assist and laborious work he did. St. Joseph’s house saved rising!

St. André led weekly Stations of the Cross and a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration within the small chapel. So nice was St. André’s love for the Blessed Sacrament that he usually spent his nights in prayer earlier than Jesus. St. André’s bed room, through which he cared for the sick and dying all through the evening, neglected the chapel. St. André minimize out a window in his room so he might take a look at the tabernacle and pray to Him day and evening.

It is commonly mentioned {that a} canine is a person’s finest good friend. St. André, St. Joseph’s little canine, actually deserves the title of his finest good friend. Sometimes it was as if he was talking with St. Joseph, mentioned those that noticed him in prayer. St. André’s recommendation to these wanting cures was easy: “Rub your self with the blessed medal [of St. Joseph] and with St. Joseph’s oil. Make a novena” (Bergeron, 67). St. André inspired novenas of Holy Communions, the Sacrament of Confession and the Stations of the Cross.

St. André died on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1937, on the age of 91. 1,000,000 folks traveled to Montréal within the chilly and snow to pay their respects to St. André. Above all, St. André desired for folks to develop near God and be healed. He was prepared to supply up any sacrifice for the conversion of 1 soul. St. André cared deeply in regards to the sick, poor and struggling of the world. Today, when visiting the St. Joseph’s Oratory, it’s superb to see the 1000’s of crutches and braces left behind by those that had been cured. People proceed to wish, by way of the intercession of St. Joseph and St. André, for his or her many wants. In the phrases of St. André: “Seldom have I met somebody who has come to the shrine and left with out comfort, with out feeling higher about life.” “Place your self in God’s palms. He won’t abandon you.” Yearly, over two million folks go to St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montréal, the most important shrine on the planet to St. Joseph! St. André is entombed there.

Image: Chapel Built in Montreal by Andre Bessette. Alina Reynbakh/Shutterstock



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