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St. André Bessette

Saint André Bessette


Alfred Bessette was born in the year of Our Lord 1845, to a poor family in Québec, and by the time he was twelve he and his siblings were tragically orphaned. Alfred was deeply devoted to St. Joseph and Our Lord’s Passion, but a poor student, and frail since birth, leading to a series of failed jobs. In 1870 Alfred’s pastor, who knew the young man’s fervent piety, sent him to the Congregation of the Holy Cross in Montreal, with a prophetic note that said “I’m sending you a saint”. Alfred took the name André, in honor of his pastor, and despite his frail health was allowed to take his vows as a lay brother. He served as the school’s doorman, in addition to other tasks, and began to gain a reputation for working miraculous cures and other wonders, particularly through the use of holy oil dedicated to St. Joseph. Through Brother André’s devotion and popular support, a shrine to St. Joseph was established in Montreal that eventually grew into the enormous and world-famous basilica, St. Joseph’s Oratory. The simple, holy wonderworker died on the Feast of the Epiphany in the year of Our Lord 1937, and his tomb lies in the basilica he built.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for January 7th

THE bringing back of the Child Jesus from Egypt.

The same day, the birthday of blessed Lucian, a priest of the church of Antioch and martyr, who was distinguished for his learning and eloquence. He suffered at Nicomedia for the confession of Christ, in the persecution of Galerius Maximian, and was buried at Helenopolis, in Bithynia. His praises have been proclaimed by St. John Chrysostom.

At Antioch, St. Clerus, deacon, who, for having professed faith in Christ, was seven times tortured, a long while kept in prison, and at length ended his martyrdom by decapitation.

In the city of Heraclea, the holy martyrs Felix and Januarius.

The same day, St. Julian, martyr.

In Denmark, St. Canute, king and martyr. His feast is celebrated on the 19th of this month.

At Pavia, St. Crispin, bishop and confessor.

In Dacia, St. Nicetas, bishop, who made fierce and barbarous nations humane and meek by preaching the Gospel to them.

In Egypt, St. Theodore, a saintly monk, who flourished in the time of Constantine the Great. He is mentioned by St. Athanasius, in his Life of St. Anthony.

At Barcelona, St. Raymond of Pennafort, of the Order of Preachers, celebrated for sanctity and learning. His festival is kept on the 23d of this month.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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