Friday, January 6, 2012

Optional Memorial of St. Andre Bessette, religious

Alfred Bessette was born into a poor French Canadian family in Quebec and was orphaned at the age of twelve. He supported himself as a handyman, cobbler, baker, farmhand, blacksmith, and factory worker. When he was twenty-five he joined the Congregation of the Holy Cross as a brother and was given the name “Andre.” Assigned to work as the porter or doorkeeper at their college in Montreal, Brother Andre once quipped: “My superiors showed me the door and I stayed there forty years!” He was devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and to St. Joseph and dreamed of a church dedicated to the foster-father of Jesus that would sit on the high hill facing the college. Today a large basilica, the Oratory of St. Joseph, draws a steady stream of pilgrims to Montreal. St. Andre was canonized in 2010. Let us join this holy brother in asking his patron St. Joseph to intercede with us for the Holy Father’s intentions as we pray in the words Blessed John Paul II used at St. Joseph’s Oratory in 1984.

St. Joseph, we bless the Lord with you and for you. He chose you from among all men to be Mary’s chaste spouse, to be the one who stands on the threshold of her divine maternity and who, after her, welcomes Him in faith as the work of the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus lowered Himself to obey you as His father during His childhood and adolescence, and to receive life lessons from you, while you shared His life in adoration of His mystery. You remain with Him. Continue to watch over the whole Church, the family born of Jesus’ salvation. Look after the spiritual and materials needs of all who seek your intercession, especially families and those suffering from all types of poverty: through you, we are sure to reach the maternal gaze of Mary and the saving hand of Jesus.

No comments: