Posted by: liturgicalyear | January 6, 2011

Saint André Bessette

Today we celebrate the feast of St. André Bessette, the first native born Canadian saint, canonized just last year.  Better known as Brother André, this simple doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal, who was considered unfit for the priesthood due to his poor health, ended up being renowned for his holiness and healing and for being the cause of the building of St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, the largest shrine to St. Joseph in the world.  

Being from Boston and having a grandmother of Canadian heritage and strong Catholic faith, I had heard of Brother André and his great devotion to St. Joseph.  His special ministry to the sick brought people from far and near to seek healing.  His reply?  “I do not heal.  St. Joseph does.”  By the time he died, on January 6, 1937, he received 80,000 letters per year from people asking for his prayers!  Wow!

Brother André’s life as a doorkeeper immediately brought my mind to a song by Twila Paris, Keeper of the Door.  Based on PS 84:11, “…I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wicked.”  Brother André embodied this scripture living a life of holiness and humility – a life to which we are all called.

 

So for today, I invite you to listen with me to Keeper of the Door by Twila Paris and to pray to grow in humility and service before the Lord.  (be sure to his the “play” button.  lyrics below)

 

I’ve often contemplated visiting the Oratory, where body of Saint André lies for public veneration along with his incorrupt heart.  For some reason I’ve never made it.  Maybe this will be there.  We never quite know what a new year brings now, do we?

 

Epiphany Blessings, Anne

 

Please read more about this beloved Canadian, St. Andre – from the Oratory website, or EWTN, or American Catholic.  

 

 

Keeper of the Door by Twila Paris 

 

I dreamed I saw my name in lights
And spoke Your word for all to hear
I dreamed my name was recognized
By people far and people near

But I have come to understand
Like David long ago
That humble service in Your house
Is still the greatest dream a heart can hold

Oh, let me be a servant, a keeper of the door
My heart is only longing to see forever more
The glory of Your presence the dwelling of the Lord
Oh, let me be a servant, a keeper of the door

The One who was no less than God
Took on the flesh of lowly men
And came to wash the feet of clay
Because it was Your holy plan

And I, no greater than my King
Would ever seek a place
Of humble service in Your house
To gaze into the light that is Your face

Oh, let me be a servant, a keeper of the door
My heart is only longing to see forever more
The glory of Your presence the dwelling of the Lord
Oh, let me be a servant, a keeper of the door

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Responses

  1. I have been to St. Joseph’s Oratory. It is beautiful and well worth the trip up to Canada.

  2. […] gentleness, her smile, and her holiness.  (Reminds me of another humble and much loved doorkeeper, St. André Bessette whose feast day we celebrated on January 6).  Instructed by her order to publish her memoirs […]


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