Friday, January 06, 2006

A Man Devoted to St. Joseph

Today is the optional memorial for Blessed Andre Bessette.

Blessed Andre was born near Quebec, and entered the Congregation of the Holy Cross as a Brother. He performed humble tasks for over forty years and entrusted all of the poor and sick who flocked to his cell to the care of St. Joseph. During his life he was able to have a chapel built to the spouse of the Virgin Mary. After his death, the shrine grew into the great basilica known as St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal.

Brother Andre expressed a saint's faith by a lifelong devotion to Saint Joseph.

Sickness and weakness dogged Andre from birth. He was the eighth of twelve children born to a French Canadian couple near Montreal. Adopted at twelve, when both parents had died, he became a farmhand. Various trades followed: shoemaker, baker, blacksmith-all failures. He was a factory worker in the United States during the boom times of the Civil War.

At twenty-five, he applied for entrance into the Congregation of the Holy Cross. After a year's novitiate, he was not admitted because of his weak health. But with an extension and the urging of Bishop Bourget (see Marie-Rose Durocher, October 6), he was finally received. He was given the humble job of doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal, with additional duties as sacristan, laundry worker and messenger. "When I joined this community, the superiors showed me the door, and I remained forty years."

(Catholic Culture)

Also, visit the magnificent St. Joseph Oratory here.


Blogger Carmel said...

Oh wow that is today? I learned about him this year and remember some conversation about him. Well thank you!!
I think you have been to the oratory or one of the St.P's helpers if I remember correctly. I am looking forward to that.
It's nice to see more focus on Joseph too since sometimes we forget.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Hello Carmel. I do remember that conversation. I believe Jonathan said he would bring you to the Oratory.

Well, then this post is dedicated to you and Jonathan!

1:28 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Now that is just lovely!! Thank you very much, I shall be sure to tell him :)
I will be sure to write and let you know when we visit the orartory and tell you my experience.
God bless you

2:35 AM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Thank you Carmel, and God bless you too.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Patte Gradwell said...

I am drawing so many similarities here between Blessed Andre's life and not a few other blesseds and saints. I am thinking along the iines of the poor health, the loss of parent or parents at an early age and the biggest similarity of all...that of being DOORKEEPER!!!

This was a wonderful bio. Thank you.

4:20 AM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

You're welcome Patte! Like Blessed Andre, your life seems to be filled with beatitudes... for blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted and blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the land. Andre the doorkeeper certainly inherited not only the door but the whole house. So, as the doorkeeper, you shall likely gain a huge inheritance!

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Patte Gradwell said...

Oh, dear. I think I have been misunderstood! I was drawing parallels between Blessed Andre and St. Faustina, St. Alphonsus, St. Pascal, St. Conrad, St. Katherine Drexel, Venerable Solanus Casey. They were all doorkeepers.

St. Peter and Our Lady have also been referred to as "doorkeepers to Heaven".

I just find this all so very interesting, don't you?

5:55 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

You're right Patte, I misunderstood, sorry. In any case, you present a wonderful insight on the similarities between these saints especially being the doorkeeper. What great examples they were and what better way to be inspired to pray to St. Peter and Our Blessed Lady asking them to help us reach the Heavenly Door, where we hope to meet them one day!

Thank you for sharing this insight which, I think, gives us much to reflect on. I appreciate your thoughts very much.

God bless you!

6:18 PM  

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