Thoughts from a young theologian


I’ve been a little “bad” lately… Not in any bad way but to myself because I’ve been sleeping a little bit later and still getting up at 4:30 am. Two days ago, I stayed up until about 11:30 studying. When I got up at 4:30, I was sooooooooooo sleepy still. I kinda dragged myself off of bed, reminding myself not to be a whiner and a wimp, then made my way to lauds. It was the most awkward lauds I’ve been to since I would fall lightly asleep whenever it wasn’t my line and barely open my eyes to chant my line when my turn came up. I would have gotten away with it too had we not had a reading. You see during the reading, we sit down. After the reading, which is usually an excerpt from one of St. Paul’s epistles, we keep sitting IN SILENCE for a couple of minutes to reflect on what we heard. Well, that being at 5 am, I fell asleep. Then, I slowly felt my books slipping from my hands before waking up and grabbing it loudly and making quite a bit of noise. I think it was pretty obvious to the monks that I was sleeping… Sigh…

Last night as well, though I went to bed early, I woke up at about 1:20 am because I wanted to follow St. André’s canonization mass in Rome. St. André was the very humble porter who built the Oratoire St-Joseph in Montreal. Both his parents died when he was still very young so he grew up with his aunt. When he was 25 years old, he entered the Congregation of Holy Cross brothers but because he was always really sickly, he was at relegated to the duties of a porter. He answered the door, washed floors and windows, brought in firewood, etc. One day, while speaking to an older priest of the Congregation, he was asked to gather a little bit of the oil that burned on the candle lamps and rub it on that priest’s sore spot. That oil was called by that priest St. Joseph’s oil and after Brother André rubbed some of that oil on him, he was tasked to give that oil to others as well. Through that action, Brother André was used to heal tons and tons of people and his fame really grew in Montreal. So much so that many people started lining up outside his door and some of his contemporaries thought he was causing a scandal at their congregation. Eventually, because so many miracles were taking place, he and the people of Montreal built the great Oratoire St-Joseph in honor of St. Joseph. He died in January 6, 1937 and had well over a million people pass by his body as it lay in its simple coffin. Brother André is now the second Canadian born saint!!

I visited the oratory once while in Montreal. It’s really gorgeous and in a very prominent location in the city. I’ve attached some photos for you to see. Notice that in the photo of the crypt, there’s lots and lots of crutches on the wall. Those were all left behind by people who , after receiving some of the oil and praying with Brother André for the intercession of St. Joseph, were able to walk again.

To celebrate his canonization today, I organized a film showing on his life. If you want to learn more about him, check out this link to a podcast called the saintcast at SQPN. Look at podcast number 23 for a show on his life. God bless!!!


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