MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwire) -- 10/17/10 -- He has climbed the highest step... and shall henceforth be known as Saint Andre Bessette and, to all Quebeckers, as Saint Brother Andre. It is with great joy and gratitude that members of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the Montreal diocese and Saint-Joseph's Oratory traveled to Vatican City to attend today the celebrations dedicated to the rite of canonization of Brother Andre, CSC, founder of Saint-Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal.
Approximately 1,500 Quebec pilgrims made the journey to Rome to experience firsthand this unique and historical event. Among them, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal, sums up their shared emotions in a few words: "At last, the time has come for us to give thanks and celebrate!"
"Today, in the company of our brothers and sisters of the Congregation of Holy Cross from across the world, we celebrate a brother who is now recognized by the entire Catholic Church, says Father Jean-Pierre Aumont, CSC, Canadian Provincial Superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross. This new saint, a member of our religious family, invites us to double our efforts in both our prayers and our service to those in our communities!"
Saint-Joseph's Oratory, at the heart of all celebrations
A joyful and proud atmosphere permeates the area on this exceptional day, as pilgrims from across Quebec, Canada, the United States and beyond are gathered to experience Brother Andre's rise to sainthood within the very sanctuary he brought to life and left as his legacy.
"Today, in Rome, thousands of pilgrims came to celebrate Saint Andre Bessette, added an impassioned Father Claude Grou, CSC, Rector of Saint-Joseph's Oratory. All are joined by the pilgrims celebrating this event live at Saint-Joseph's Oratory. The entire Catholic Church welcomes this exceptional man and presents him as a testament to the faith. Let us give thanks!"
The rite of canonization was rebroadcast at dawn in the Crypt, and an icon dedicated to Saint Brother Andre was blessed during a solemn mass celebrated in the Basilica. Several special religious and cultural activities will be held throughout the day.
Photos available upon request
Luce Dion and Danielle Decelles
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