OTTAWA, Canada, FEB. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is the statement released Friday by Bishop Pierre Morissette of Saint-Jérôme, president of the Canadian episcopal conference, on the Oct. 17 date set for the canonization of Blessed André Bessette (1845-1937), native of Canada and religious of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.
* * *
It is with much joy that the Bishops of Canada welcome the 19 February 2010 announcement by Pope Benedict XVI of the canonization of Brother André.
Brother André lived his life with great humility. Guided by a deep faith and devotion to Saint Joseph, he dedicated his life to praying, serving the poor, welcoming strangers, healing the sick and comforting the suffering. To this day, his memory remains an important witness to all Canadians of faith and love.
As the Holy Father has said so well on another occasion, “Visiting a botanical nursery garden, one is amazed by the variety of plants and flowers, and often one is drawn to think of the imagination of the Creator who has given the earth a wonderful garden. A similar feeling of wonder strikes us when we consider the spectacle of sainthood: the world appears to us as a ‘garden’, where the Spirit of God has given life with admirable imagination to a multitude of men and women saints, of every age and social condition, of every language, people and culture. Every one is different from the other, each unique in his or her own personality and spiritual charism. All of them, however, were impressed with the ‘seal’ of Jesus (cf. Book of Revelation 7.3) or the imprint of his love witnessed through the Cross. They are all in joy, in a festival without end, but, like Jesus, they achieved this goal passing through difficulties and trials (cf. Revelation 7.14), each of them shouldering their own share of sacrifice in order to participate in the glory of the Resurrection” (Angelus message, 1 November 2008).
May the canonization of Brother André be a moment of rejoicing throughout our country. May his legacy remind us of what each of us can achieve through faith and love. In his own words, “It is with the smallest brushes that the artists paint the most beautiful pictures.”
Most Reverend Pierre Morissette
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops