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Archive | 50 years ago the heart of Brother André disappeared

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The heart of the brother André 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.

On the radio show From all corners of the world on December 21, 1974, journalist Réal D'Amour announced that the heart of the famous brother André was 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 of a young Montreal lawyer, Mr. Frank Shoofey. The motives for which the bandits returned the heart remain unknown.

Le 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.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">No signs of break-in were noted, the thieves apparently possessing the keys to the door and the gate behind which the the organ.

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The Montreal Police Department 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. .

A few months after the theft of the relic, on August 3, 1973, journalist Marie-Hélène Poirier interviews with Father Marcel Lalonde, rector of the Saint-Joseph oratory, on the radio program Present metropolitan edition.

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 entertain 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 churchmen 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 < em>Free field of January 30, 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.

A believer testifies to her fervor towards the miracle worker.

After the Good Lord, it is him. After the Good Lord, it is Saint Joseph, then Brother André.

A quote from A participant in vox pop

On May 23, 1982 in Rome, Pope John Paul II declared 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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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116