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A spirituality of heart, prayer and listening

Everyone who has met Brother André has said his face communicated peace, compassion and hope. Which spirituality then nourished the simple doorkeeper of Notre-Dame College?

DEVOTED TO PRAYER


Brother André prayed. He would pray silently without ceasing while listening to the needs of the sick just as he would pray while accomplishing menial tasks.

When his superiors hesitated to admit him to the Congregation of Holy Cross because of his poor health, the novice master affirmed: "If this young man becomes unable to work, he will at least know how to pray well."

When asked why he prayed during the night, Brother André would answer that it took him several hours to recount to God all of the sufferings he heard during the day. In addition to his special devotion to St. Joseph, he also had a profound devotion to the Holy Family, that is, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, to whom he spoke about with pilgrims. He recited the rosary daily.

A COMPASSIONATE LISTENER


From a young age, Brother André listened to people. And when he was given the responsibility of porter at Notre-Dame College, he listened even more.

Hundreds of people would crowd in front of Brother Andréʼs small office. After their short meetings with them, from five minutes to 15 minutes, they would leave either consoled or healed.

He would exhort those who were unhappy to Christian resignation. He had a particular affection for the Way of the Cross and he would offer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus the sufferings of the sick and the miserable as well as his own. He was so pleased when he eventually learned that the Stations of the Cross, with larger-than-life statues, would be installed at the oratory.

A MAN OF HEART


Brother André was a humble man of service. He accomplished everything with love and joy - qualities and virtues that make a saint. His sorrow was to meet people who did not pray with faith.

"If you do not have faith," Brother André would tell them, "you will obtain nothing."

For him, faith originated in the heart for it is permeated with love, trust and hope. Faith is the driving force of prayer. Brother André gave himself completely to the service of the sick, with his whole heart and all of his faith. He faced his own difficulties with faith and love.

Rolande Parrot 

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