Friday, February 19, 2010

A new saint for Canada and Quebec

It's official! Brother Andre will be Saint Andre later this year! The Vatican has announced that Blessed André, born Alfred Bessette, will be canonized Oct. 17. Brother Andre, shown in this video, will be Quebec's first-born saint (which I would think also makes him Canada's first-born saint, since Marguerite d'Youville, born in 1701 and the first saint born on Canadian territory, was born almost two centuries before Confederation.) Brother Andre was the founder of St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, the largest shrine dedicated to St. Joseph in the world. Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte said the canonization news was "the best thing that could have happened this year for the Church of Montreal." And with Quebec having just won Canada's first Olympic gold on Canadian soil, he compared the Brother Andre announcement to "winning gold!" (The cardinal has a nice sense of strategic marketing!) A series of religious and cultural celebration will be announced soon for Rome and Montreal.

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