On October 17, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, led the ceremony to canonize Brother André in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
Brother André, a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross (1845-1937) and founder of St. Joseph’s Oratory (1904), is only the second person born in Québec—or Canada for that matter—to become a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. The first was Saint Marie-Marguerite d'Youville in 1990
The Premier of Québec, Jean Charest, noted that Brother André’s legacy is the close relationship he built with the people to whom he belonged. His canonization allows us to take the full measure of his work. A popular, enduring figure in Québec’s history, Brother André had many fervent admirers, not only in Québec, but around the world. His humility in the face of the healings and miracles attributed to him in the early 20th century honours him to this day.
The Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, headed the official Québec delegation that participated in the ceremony. The delegation was composed of the Lieutenant Governor of Québec, the Honourable Pierre Duchesne, the MNA for Iberville, Marie Bouillé, and the Mayor of Montréal, Gérald Tremblay. An estimated three thousand Quebecers or more had travelled to the Vatican to attend the ceremony, which drew tens of thousands of pilgrims.
"Québec society, today pluralist and secular, shared the same path as the Catholic Church for a long time. The canonization of Brother André harks back to our past and recalls the contribution of the Catholic religion to Québec’s development. The universal honour accorded to Brother André by the Catholic Church consecrates the work of a man who, even today, fascinates many Quebecers as well as thousands of practicing Catholics and pilgrims who visit Montréal,” said Minister Gagnon-Tremblay.