S+L logo

PM: Brother André's simple faith made him an 'icon'

November 1, 2010
MONTREAL--Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the following statement at a reception in Montreal, October 30, after attending a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Olympic Stadium for the canonization of Saint André.
“Your Eminence, Cardinal Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal; Father Grou, Rector of St. Joseph's Oratory; Your Honour, Mr. Duchesne, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec; Premier Charest; Your Worship Mayor Tremblay; Mr. Circé of Les Caisses Desjardins, and Mr. Savoie of the Knights of Columbus, Ladies and gentlemen.
“First of all, I want to thank Your Eminence for inviting me to take part in this wonderful celebration today.  I was truly impressed by the mass honouring Saint André of Montreal, attended by over 50,000 people, including thousands of young people, which would make many rock bands very jealous.
“Saint André Bessette would no doubt be a little uncomfortable with all this attention.  But it is well deserved.  This great Eucharistic celebration showcases Canadians' attachment, here in Quebec and throughout the country, to this man of unshakeable faith who devoted his life to the sick and the homeless.
“Saint André from Montreal is revered, not only across our country, but around the world.  Pilgrims travel thousands of kilometres to visit, what many would consider one of his biggest accomplishments, the erection of the magnificent St. Joseph's Oratory, which I visited this morning.
“The lengthy construction of St. Joseph's Oratory, one of the most visited sites in Canada, symbolizes Saint André's devotion to St. Joseph, and is eloquent testimony to his unwavering determination.  I note that in his youth, he had to leave his family to go earn his living in New England.  But his destiny was to be quite different.  After the birth of Confederation in 1867, he chose to come back home to Canada, to Quebec, here in Montreal.  And that was when he decided to consecrate his life to God.  His return to his home province marked the beginning of a long chapter in his life, which was to be forever engraved in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.
“Possessed of a simple faith in the power of God to do far more than men or women ask or imagine, Brother André has become an icon.
“Brother André was orphaned at the tender age of 12. He could barely read or write.  But through his faith in God, he managed to accomplish great things.  For some, his life is an example of how faith can move mountains.  For others, he is a source of great inspiration. And for all of us, he is a great man, a great Quebecer, a great Canadian.
“Thank you.”
Related posts
St. Joseph: A Man of Dreams; A Man of Action!
FacebookTwitter
Read Deacon Pedro's reflection on the role Joseph plays in the bible. Nowhere in the  Gospels do we ever hear anything Joseph says. He never says anything... but he’s a man of action. ...read more
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Mother, Doctor, and Lover of Life (1922-1962)
FacebookTwitter
Read Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B's reflection on the life of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, the Patron Saint of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, as we commemorate her feast day. ...read more
St. Gianna Beretta Molla: “Mater Familias” and Lover of Life
FacebookTwitter
[The following is Father Thomas Rosica’s Keynote Address at the Benefit Dinner for the St. Gianna Home held November 6, 2009 in Aurora, Ontario. Reader’s will recall that in September, St. ...read more
Holy Popes! Significance of the Canonization of John XXIII & John Paul II
FacebookTwitter
Read Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B's reflection on the Canonization of Pope John XXII and Pope John Paul II as we celebrate the 4th anniversary of their canonization. April 27. ...read more
Deacon-structing Martyrdom Part 2: Witnesses
FacebookTwitter
What does it mean to be a martyr? That’s the question that we tried to answer last week. It’s a question that we all need to think about because it is directly related to following Christ. If we w ...read more