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"My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them, and they follow me."
John 10:27

HomeLives of the SaintsIn 1937 a million people gathered in Montreal

In 1937 a million people gathered in Montreal

In 1937 a million people gathered in Montreal

Saint Brother André died on January 6, 1937 at the age of 91.

A whole week, nearly one million visitors stayed long hours and even days in the freezing rain and sleet at -30 degrees waiting to see brother André, founder of St. Joseph’s Oratory one last time

a person who has marked them for life by his numerous miracles

more than 500 firefighters and 500 policemen take turns to ensure order in the crypt

where Brother André’s body laid in state

They invite visitors not to stop, allowing them only a few seconds in front of the open casket.

Each day, 75,000 to 100,000 people march in front of Brother André

At the funeral , three times as many people try to approach the coffin

The crypt will remain open to the faithful even at night

People come from all over to pay their respects to Brother André

In the United States, special trains arrive from Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Many even make the journey by plane as a San Francisco pilgrim whose son was cured by Brother André

A New York millionnaire, on the other hand, left every morning for Montreal

and flew back every night for eight days, even after the funeral

He would take four or five people with him each time

On the day of the funeral the regular tram network did not suffice the demand

The company is re-using old vehicles

The funeral took place at the Cathedral of Montreal

Montreal’s coadjutor bishop Georges Gauthier asked for the exegesis of his heart

This tradition, once widespread in France, was to extract the hearts of kings before carrying them in the ground

His heart is exposed at St. Joseph Oratory until today…


Official website of the St-Joseph’s Oratory

The text accompanying the clip entitled The day before the funeral of Brother André (film shot January 7, 1937, 6:58 min.) [Archive], taken from the archives of the SRC, series Saint Joseph’s Oratory: the miracle of Brother André [ archive], clip no 2.

Le Devoir, January 7, 1937, pages 1, 3 and 10, “Death of Brother André (Alfred Bessette)” [archive], on Bilan du siècle, de l’Université de Sherbrooke [archive] (accessed October 6, 2010).

Olsen, Brad (2008). Sacred Places North America: 108 Destinations. CCC Publishing. p. 312. ISBN 978-1-888729-13-9. brother andre funeral.


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