Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6: Saint André Bessette

Saint André Bessette


André suffered from bad stomach pains all his life, which made it hard for him to keep a job. He was finally accepted by the Holy Cross Brothers. After taking vows, he was sent to Notre Dame College in Montreal to work as the porter. He answered the door, welcomed guests, delivered mail and so on. But his dream was to build a chapel to Saint Joseph on the mountain near the college. The Archbishop game him permission, but no money.  André had a few hundred dollars, all in nickels he got from giving students  haircuts or nickels and dimes from a bowl he had put in a picnic shelter on the top of the mountain next to a statue of Saint Joseph. So  André built a little chapel, 15 feet wide and 18 feet long. Three years later, he had collected more donations, so he went back to the archbishop and got permission to add on. Eventually, he started to build a basilica on the mountain. But when he died at the age of 90 it still wasn’t finished.


Saint André Bessette did what most people would have said he could never do – build a beautiful basilica that inspires people to pray. You can see photos of Saint Joseph’s Oratory and even take a virtual tour. As you look at these images, think about how God blessed Saint  André’s simple desire to honor the Lord and Saint Joseph.

Saint André Bessette, pray for us!

More reading for parents: