Addresses, Speeches, Homilies 1984

Visit to the tomb of Blessed André Bessette

SEPTEMBER 11, 1984

Dear Religious of the Holy Cross,

Thank you for the warm welcome. I would have liked to have been able to talk to you longer, not only about Blessed Brother Andre, but also about the apostolate of the priests and brothers of the Holy Cross in Canada and in so many other countries where you offer a Christian education to children, to young people, to students, and where you meet other spiritual needs in the area of Catholic action or of publications. For these human services and for this ecclesial witness, I would like to extend heartfelt wishes to your entire congregation. From the very beginning, your founders sought the protection of the Holy Family and particularly of Saint Joseph. And it was one of your most humble members, the porter of the college, Andre Bessette, who carried this confidence in Saint Joseph’s intercession to its highest degree. “Pauper servus et humilis”, brother Andre is now among the blessed. In this high place in Montreal, in this great Oratory born of the fervent devotion of brother Andre, rather than make a speech, I invite you to join me in my prayer to Saint Joseph and to Blessed Andre.

Saint Joseph, with you, for you, we bless the Lord.

He chose you among all men

to be the chaste spouse of Mary,

the one who would remain at the threshold of the mystery of her divine

maternity, and who, after her, would accept it in faith as the work of

the Holy Spirit.

You gave to Jesus legal paternity in the line of David.

You constantly watched over the Mother and the Child

with an affectionate concern,

in order to protect their lives

and to allow them to accomplish their destiny.

The Saviour Jesus deigned to submit himself to you, as to a father,

throughout his childhood and adolescence

and to receive from you an apprenticeship in human life,

while you shared his life in the adoration of his mystery.

You remain at his side.

Continue to protect the whole church,

the family born of the salvation of Jesus.

Protect especially the people of Canada

who have placed themselves under your patronage.

Help them to come closer to the mystery of Christ

in that attitude of faith, submission and love

that was your own.

See the spiritual and material needs of all those who beg your


particularly families

and those who are poor, in every sense;

through you, they are certain to find Mary’s maternal face and the

hand of Jesus to assist them.


And you, Blessed Brother Andre Bessette, porter of the college and keeper of this Oratory, give hope

to all those who continue to seek your help.

Teach them confidence in the virtue of prayer,

and, with it, the path of conversion and the sacraments.

Through you and through Saint Joseph, may God continue to pour out his blessings

on the Congregation of the Holy Cross,

on all those who come to this Oratory,

on the City of Montreal,

on the people of Quebec,

on the Canadian people,

and on the whole church.

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Conférence des évêques catholiques du Canada