This Holy Cross Brother, known as "Frere Andre," has been credited
with thousands of cures. He was the founder of St. Joseph's Oratory in
Montreal, Canada, perhaps the world's principal shrine in honor of St.
Joseph. When he died at the age of 91, it was estimated that close to a
million people came to the Oratory to pay their last respects. He was
beatified in 1982 and canonized October 17, 2010.
Andre was the eighth child in a family of 12 and at Baptism he was given the name Alfred. Orphaned at the age of 12, he tried his hand at various trades but was not successful in any of them. He could barely read and write and was sickly most of his life. At the age of 15 he became a Brother of Holy Cross but was rejected at the end of the novitiate. At the insistence of the bishop of Montreal, however, Brother Andre was allowed to make religious profession. For forty years he worked as porter at the College of Notre Dame, until he was needed full time at the shrine of St. Joseph. People from all over Canada came to him for cures or for spiritual direction. The Oratory that he built in honor of St. Joseph was solemnly dedicated in 1955 and raised to the rank of a minor basilica.