This day the Catholic Church celebrates the solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of Mary the mother of Jesus, and patron of the Brothers of Holy Cross. Blessed Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, modeled his religious family of priests, brothers, and sisters on the Holy Family. In doing so, he placed the Brothers under the patronage of Saint Joseph.
Brother André Bessette, C.S.C., known as the “Miracle Man of Montreal”, who battled sickness for much of his own life, humbly devoted his life to prayer, serving the Lord, and comforting the afflicted. Through his intercession to St. Joseph, many received God’s healing power. As doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal, St. André often prayed with the sick, whom he met at the door, with St. Joseph as an intercessor, and he gave them medals of St. Joseph and anointed them with oil from an oil lamp burning near a St. Joseph’s statue. Soon many miraculous healings were attributed to his prayers, but St. André always gave credit to God and St. Joseph. His devotion was to St. Joseph. On October 10, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI canonized St. André the first saint for Holy Cross.
(credit: Congregation of Holy Cross)
The University of Portland honors St. André Bessette with a chapel bearing his name in Tyson Hall. Inside the chapel is a bronze statue of St. André created by Rev. Anthony Lauck, C.S.C. in 1982. The Congregation of Holy Cross annually celebrates St. André Bessette on his feast day, January 7.