August 9, 1845-January 6, 1937
Canonized October 17, 2010
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 6:45-52
After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.
REFLECTION: “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
This is the year of St Joseph.!! St Andre Bessette had a lifelong devotion to St Joseph.
He was sickly and weak since birth. He was orphaned at 12 and later adopted. He became a farmhand and worked as a shoemaker, baker and blacksmith. He failed at all these trades.
In 1870, at the age of 25, Alfred Bessette became a religious brother in the Congregation of Holy Cross. He took the name of Brother Andre. He was given duty of doorkeeper for the school as well as sacristan, laundry worker and messenger. He remained there for 40 years.
His main task was doorkeeper of College Notre Dame, greeting visitors and parents of students. Sick people would come visit him as rumors spread that he had healing powers. They would say to him, "Brother Andre, if you will, you can cure me," and in his simplicity, he would say, " No, not I, but Saint Joseph can, if you have confidence in him. " Hundreds of people met with Brother Andre daily. The original chapel is lined with crutches, braces and wheelchairs.
He was instrumental in erecting and building a Basilica on the side of the mountain. Saint Brother Andre always recommended rubbing the part of their body ailing with Saint Joseph Oil, oil from a lamp burning in the college chapel. Brother Andre had graces from God. He loved St Joseph, who was chosen by God to be the Protector of His Son. He had compassion toward all the people who came to him, in their poverty, illness and suffering.
In Montreal, Canada, millions of people pilgrimage to Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal for peace, prayer and reflection.
"Pray and I will pray with you, " Saint Brother Andre still tells us.
“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” Follow the Lord, follow St Joseph, follow Saint Brother Andre.
God Bless You