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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Founding Saints

St. André
St. Andre.jpgBrother André, born Alfred Bessette, surely is one of the most popular Québecois of the 20th century. Even before he was canonized in 2010, his reputation for holiness crossed frontiers and influenced generations of people. At first assigned to be doorkeeper at Collège Notre-Dame, he was then named caretaker at that house of prayer which he shepherded into existence on Mount Royal. The religious brother welcomed thousands of distressed people or those who were looking for a ray of hope. He listened to them and recommended that they pray to Saint Joseph in whom he had full confidence. Any number of miraculous healings took place there and hearts turned toward God. Today, Saint Brother André continues to be an inspiration and a friend for women and men of any religious practice.  Saint Brother Andre was canonized on October 17, 2010.  We celebrate his Feast Day on January 7th. 

 

Prayer:

Blessed Brother Andre, your devotion to Saint Joseph is an inspiration to us. You gave your life selflessly to bring the message of his life to others. Pray that we may learn from Saint Joseph, and from you, what it is like to care for Jesus and do his work in the world. Amen


 

St. Philip Neri

Picture2.jpgBorn in Florence, Italy, on July 21, 1515, he was a business man, teacher and scholar. Philip was humble and simple. People responded to his appealing personality. His spiritual advice was welcomed by all including Ignatius Loyola, Francis de Sales and Camillus de Lellis. Philip teaches us that being holy does not mean being sad. After a mystical experience in the catacombs, he spent 13 years ministering to the poor in Rome. Many young men joined him. He formed these men into a community called the Congregation of Priests of the Oratory. He died on May 26, 1595 and was canonized in 1622. We celebrate his feast day on May 28. 

Prayer:

Saint Philip Neri, we take ourselves far too seriously most of the time. Help us to add humor to our perspective -- remembering always that humor is a gift from God. Amen

 

 

St. Gerard Majella

Picture3.jpgSt. Gerard Majella was born in Muro, Italy, in 1726 and joined the Redemptorists  at the age of 23, becoming a professed lay brother in 1752. He served as sacristan, gardener, porter and tailor. However, because of his great piety, extraordinary wisdom, and his gift of reading consciences, he was permitted to counsel communities of religious women. His charity, obedience, and selfless service as well as his ceaseless mortification for Christ, made him the perfect model of lay brothers. He was afflicted with tuberculosis and died in 1755 at the age of twenty-nine. This great saint is invoked as a patron of expectant mothers as a result of a miracle affected through his prayers for women in labor.

 

Prayer:

O Great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted Child of the Mother of God: enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love. O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the Patron and Protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day and receive the lustral waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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