“It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely beautiful pictures,” said St. André Bessette.
He is just another man, a real person that I would have very much wanted to meet personally. Unfortunately, he was born way ahead of me and died 20 years before I was born. If you ask him who he is, the response was “I am only a man, just like you.”
André Bessette is a native of Canada born frail in a poor family in Quebec. He became an orphan at the age of 12 and had hardly any education at all. In his early twenties, he entered the Holy Cross congregation in Montreal. Nobody wanted him. The main task given to him was menial as a porter, someone who opens the door and greets people who come to visit the Oratory. Yet he did his duty for 40 years accepting the little he had and turning it into a holy act.
One would not think that he lacks formal education when he is an effective teacher of faith by his action, love, kindness, and example. He used the simplest means. It is his complete trust with divine providence is what made him an exceptional person.
His dream was to build a church devoted to St. Joseph. He trusted that if he is really doing the Lord’s will the Lord would bring it to fruition. And it did happen.
How I would have wanted to see him open the door for me when I visited the Oratory in Mount Royal. I felt small as an ant standing at the first rung of the steps looking up at the Oratory.
In a world filled with educated minds and an era of countless celebrity, glitz, and glamour, I am amazed at what a simple man can do.
Brother André is what I call him and has left me a legacy to place my trust in Jesus.