I am only a man, just like you, time after time Brother André Bessette reminded petitioners who came to him. Known as a miracle worker of healing during his lifetime, this humble lay brother insisted on giving all the credit to God, the faith of those healed, and the intercession of St. Joseph. Quietly, he said, I will pray for you. Time after time, healing came.
Brother André was born Alfred Bessette in 1845 in a small town near Montreal. He was the sixth of ten children of a carpenter and woodcutter. At his birth, Alfred was so frail that the midwife baptized him immediately. Throughout life, his health remained poor. No one would have predicted that he would live to the ripe old age of ninety-one.
I Am Sending You a Saint. When Alfred was only nine years old, his father was killed in an accident. Then, his mother died of tuberculosis a few years later. The children were all parceled out to relatives and Alfred, orphaned and nearly illiterate, was forced to find work. He apprenticed at several skills, but never completed any for health reasons. When his parish priest introduced him to the brothers of the Holy Cross and suggested that he…
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