Friday, January 6, 2023

Friday before Epiphany

The Month of January Dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus

First Friday of the Month

Saint: Saint Andre Bessette, "Miracle Man of Montreal," Patron Saint of the Rejected (1845-1937)

Readings of the Day

Rule of Saint Benedict: Prologue 39-44 

Mass: 1 Jn 5:5-13; Resp Ps 147; Mk 1:7-11 or Lk 3:23-38  

Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. 



I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, 
you who believe in the name of the Son of God.
(1 Jn 5:13)

We have yet another privilege before us today, that is, to commemorate a great saint, Saint Andre Bessette. A simple and humble man, Alfred Bessette, the future Andre, was born into a poor Quebec family in 1845. Both of his parents died when he was young, the family was split up, and Alfred, barely literate and physically weak from birth, wandered from job to job for years. At the age of 25, Alfred presented himself to the Novitiate of the Congregation of the Holy Cross in Montreal. Leary of his sickness, the brothers did not receive him, but prodded by the bishop, assigned him the humble job of porter at Notre Dame College. As porter, our dear Andre simply did the daily of washing floors and windows, cleaning lamps, carrying firewood, and so on. As Brother Andre used to say, "It is with the smallest brushes that the artists paint the most beautiful pictures." Andre just carried on and welcomed whoever came to the door, the sick, heartbroken, and anyone else for that matter, and invited them to pray to Saint Joseph. This went on for 25 years. Andre eventually built a chapel with help from friends and the money he earned from cutting students' hair. So, Andre was resourceful too, not unlike his dear Saint Joseph, guardian and protector. Andre died January 6, 1937, at the age of 91. It is said that a million people braved the bitter Montreal winter and filed past his coffin. Pope Benedict XVI canonized him on October 17, 2010, and preached this: "For him, everything spoke of God, and of God's presence. May we, in his footsteps, seek God with simplicity in order to discover him ever present in the heart of our life! May the example of Bro. Andre inspire Canadian Christian life!"* Amen.

Do not seek to have your trials removed, ask rather for the grace to bear them well.
(Brother Saint Andre Bessette)


*See Catholic News Agency, "St. Andre Bessette"; "Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI," October 17, 2010,; Congregation of the Holy Cross, 

Today's photo: Here is another one from Monday afternoon. While my pot of Borscht was simmering, I went on the prowl for photos. 

© Gertrude Feick 2023

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