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Brother André's heart was stolen from his reliquary on March 16, 1973.
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On March 16, 1973, the Fathers of the Holy Cross realized that the heart of Brother André had been stolen. The relic would be handed over to authorities 21 months later. Return to the archives on the history of this theft which shook the community of pilgrims and religious of the Saint-Joseph oratory.
At the radio broadcast
From all corners of the world on December 21, 1974, journalist Réal D'Amour announced that the heart of the famous Brother André had been handed over to the religious authorities of the Saint-Joseph oratory by metropolitan police officers.
The thieves, who will never be found, return the object through a young Montreal lawyer, Mr. Frank Shoofey. The reasons why the bandits returned the heart remain unknown.
Brother André's heart was found on December 21, 1974.
On March 16, 1973, the Fathers of the Holy Cross noticed that the heart of the founder of the Saint-Joseph oratory of Mount Royal, Brother André, had been stolen. The jar in which the relic of the blessed was kept is no longer on its marble pedestal, in a vault of the church on Queen Mary Road.
No sign of break-in was noted, the thieves apparently possessing the keys to the door and the gate behind which the organ was located.
The City of Montreal Police Service immediately opens an investigation.
The thieves demanded a ransom of $50,000, but the oratory authorities refused to give in to blackmail, explaining that a relic has no monetary value, according to Church laws. p>
A few months after the theft of the relic, on August 3, 1973, journalist Marie-Hélène Poirier spoke with Father Marcel Lalonde, rector of the Saint-Joseph Oratory, on the radio show
Present Metropolitan Edition.
The man of the Church explains how some Catholics felt following the theft.
Through the testimonies we have had, we see that people were marked by this event which they deplore. They continue to wish, they continue to maintain the hope that this relic will return.
A quote from Marcel Lalonde, rector of Saint-Joseph's oratory in 1973
The tradition of guarding the hearts of deceased kings or clergymen comes to us from Europe.
Brother André, born Alfred Bessette, religious of the congregation of Sainte-Croix, had, it was said, the gift of healing the sick and infirm.
Guided by his devotion to Saint Joseph, in 1917 he undertook the construction of a chapel in his honor on the side of Mount Royal. In 1924, construction of the basilica began; the work ended in 1967, 30 years after the death of brother André.
On the show
Champ libreon 30 January 1965, journalist Paul-Émile Tremblay asked women why they prayed to Brother André. Some devotees speak of the healing of one of their own or the hope of a recovery. < p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">A believer testifies to her fervor towards the miracle worker.
After the Good Lord, it's him. After the Good Lord, it is Saint Joseph, then Brother André.
A quote from A participant in vox pop
May 23 1982 in Rome, Pope John Paul II declares Brother Andrew “blessed.” A long-awaited moment, because popular sentiment in Quebec and elsewhere remains unanimous: Brother André is a saint in the eyes of the faithful.
He will be canonized on October 17, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.
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