Catholic Church of Montreal > News > Topics > Saint Brother André > Three sons, thanks to Br. André's intercession

Three sons, thanks to Br. André's intercession

Brother André has played in my own life as an immigrant who moved to Canada in 1989.

I come from the Portuguese colony of Goa, 600 kilometres south of Bombay (Mumbai) in India.

My wife, Effie, and I were married in Bombay in 1981. In 1982, we took up jobs in Bahrain and later, in 1985, we moved to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; we spent over seven years in the Middle East. Like many Catholic couples, we wanted to have children right away. But the Lord had other plans. One difficult year followed another. Months turned to years and the heartbreaks were really painful.

Montreal Deacon Brian Cordeiro and his wife, Effie, surrounded by their three sons: (l. to r.) Pierre Bosco, Jean Vianney and André Joseph.It is worth mentioning here that having children is considered very important in our culture and not having a child is seen as a shame, almost as a punishment from God, reminiscent of the stories of Sarah and Hannah in the Old Testament. We were constantly reminded by family and friends of how others, who had married after us, already had children. Life can be cruel indeed. As believing Christians, our one question to God was: "God, why are you not blessing us with a chiId when you know we want one?" 

Five years after we married, a doctor prescribed a fertility pill for my wife; it proved to be a huge disaster. It resulted in massive internal bleeding and caused endometriosis, resulting in blood clots in the reproductive system. My wife suffered unbearable pain for two years and had two major surgeries. The second major surgery in 1988 removed one ovary and one fallopian tube and the other ovary was massively damaged. Our hopes of having a child had vanished. This is when we decided to give up our lucrative jobs in Abu Dhabi and immigrate to Canada. 

It had been our practice since we married to pray for a child every time we visited a church for the first time. We had tried this overt eight years in the great churches of Rome, Paris, Cologne and London, to name just a few cities. We were accepted for immigration to Canada and arrived in Montreal in July 1989, seeking to escape the shame that awaited us if we returned without children to our home country.

My Muslim colleague in Abu Dhabi had given us the address of a service apartment in Cote-des-Neiges where we could stay for our short exploratory trip of Montreal, prior to permanently moving about six months later. This service apartment is two blocks from St. Joseph's Oratory.

We visited the oratory and seeing the crutches of those who had been healed, we prayed fervently to Brother André (of whom we had not heard before) for his intercession to have a child.

My son was conceived the same day and he bears the name André-Joseph, in honour of Brother André and St. Joseph. He was born in 1990. We would go on to have two other sons born in 1991 and 1992; all after my wife had endometriosis and had no hope of conceiving. 

I know that in our case it was directly through the intercession of Brother André that our hopeless dream of having children became a reality.

Deacon Brian Cordeiro

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