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Holy Cross Saint 'example to others'

Bangladesh confreres celebrate the life and work of Andre Bessette

A portrait of Saint Andre A portrait of Saint Andre
  • Sumon Corraya, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Bangladesh
  • February 22, 2011
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Many Catholics in Bangladesh believe the humble and submissive life of Saint Andre Bessette, the first saint from Holy Cross Congregation, is inspirational and one which provides a model for others to follow.

Saint Andre Bessette was a French-Canadian Holy Cross brother who led a very humble life and was credited with thousands of reported miraculous healings before his death in 1937.

He was declared a saint by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17, 2010.

“The life of Saint Andre, especially his humility, enchants me. He never rebuked anyone for their misdeeds; rather, he prayed and blessed them. People like him are rare these days,” said Leo Modhu, 72.

“We need more spiritual people like Saint Andre today. He was not a scholar but a purely spiritual man. That is why he was made a saint,” said Silvia Gomes, 22, a housewife.

Modhu and Gomes were speaking at a three-day celebration to honor Saint Andre Bessette by his local confreres that ended on February 18.

The celebration at Bangladesh’s largest Catholic parish in Tejgaon, Dhaka included Eucharistic adoration, sharing, life witness, a documentary film on the saint’s life and a Holy Mass.

Archbishop Paulinus Costa of Dhaka concelebrated the Holy Mass ending the three day event.

“We might achieve outstanding professional feats but everything gets spoilt if we’re not humble. Saint Andre inspires us to be humble and spiritual,” the prelate said in his homily.

Holy Cross priests and religious said they have found more strength and inspiration from the life of their confrere, especially since his elevation to sainthood.

“The virtues of Brother Andre are my source of encouragement and inspiration in religious life,” said Holy Cross brother Rinku Costa, 30.

Holy Cross Father Sushanto Gomes added, “Brother Andre was an outstanding person and led a pure life. It’s time for us to ask ourselves if we’re leading the life we’re supposed to.”

Holy Cross nun Joyce Gomes agreed.

“If we can follow in his footsteps and embrace his virtues our life service and mission will be easier,” she said.

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