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Saint Andre Bessette
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Religious Figure
    (August 9, 1845-January 6, 1937)
    Born in Mont-Saint-Gregoire, Quebec, Canada
    Also known as Saint Andre of Montreal
    Holy Cross brother known for the healing power of his prayers, a fierce devotion to Saint Joseph and an untiring lifetime of service to God and the Catholic Church despite lifelong poor health
    Canonized on October 17, 2010
    Due to his poor health, he was never able to hold down a full time job as an adult, and when he first tried to join the Holy Cross order, he was rejected on health grounds.
    He would become quite angry when people tried to credit him with the cures of their sicknesses obtained through the power of his prayers insisting they give credit to God and Saint Joseph.
    The only job he could physically handle for the Holy Cross brothers was as porter/doorman.
    He was a virtual illiterate for his entire life.
    He lost his father when he was nine and his mother when he was twelve, leaving him to be raised by kindly relatives.
    He tried to make his living as a manual laborer as an adult despite his poor health and was actually able to support himself as a textile worker in New England for a time.
    He was so sickly as a newborn that the midwife baptized him on the spot.
    His devotion to Saint Joseph was so strong that he built a chapel to him (now a basilica) using money he had made on the side giving haircuts to school boys.
    Literally thousands of people credit his prayers with curing them of various afflictions.
    After he died, his heart was stolen (later recovered) from the reliquary where it had been placed.
    When his pastor wrote to the Holy Cross Brothers on his behalf, he wrote 'I am sending you a saint.'
    He is a 'national' hero to the French Canadian people, especially those of Quebec.
    Despite his lifelong poor health, he lived to be ninety-one.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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