January/February 2015 - St. Andre Bessette and St. Scholastica

St. Andre Bessette and St. Scholastica. Photo of St. Andre Bessette: CNS/Tony Gentile St. Andre Bessette and St. Scholastica. Photo of St. Andre Bessette: CNS/Tony Gentile

St. Andre Bessette

Humble doorman known as ‘Miracle Man of Montreal’

1845–1937
Feast day: January 6

Born in Canada, Andre worked for three years in the United States as a weaver and manual laborer. After returning to Canada in 1870, he joined the Congregation of the Holy Cross and took final vows in 1874. For decades, Brother Andre humbly served his community near Montreal as doorman, janitor, barber, gardener and infirmarian. With St. Joseph as his model and intercessor, he developed a healing ministry and huge following. In 1904, he moved into Montreal to help build the Oratory of the Holy Cross, and remained there for the rest of his life. When this “Miracle Man of Montreal” was canonized in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said he “lived the beatitude of the pure of heart.”

St. Scholastica

Religious founder visited saintly twin each year

c. 480–547
Feast day: February 10

Scholastica and her brother, St. Benedict, were born to a wealthy Christian family in Nursia, Italy. Details of their lives come from the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great. After Benedict established his monastery at Monte Cassino, Scholastica founded a convent at Plombariola, and was its abbess for many years. The siblings met once a year outside Monte Cassino. At their final meeting, Scholastica begged Benedict to stay the night and, when he wouldn’t, she asked God for help. A violent storm ensued and Benedict had to stay. They spent the night discussing the joys of heaven, and she died three days later. Scholastica is the patron saint of Benedictine nuns and convulsive children.

Northwest Catholic - January/February 2015