Brother Andre came from humble roots
The canonization of Brother Andre will take place at 4 a.m. Sunday morning at the Vatican in Rome, but who exactly was this man?
He began his life in 1845 as Alfred Bessette in Mont St-Gregoire.
"His father died, killed in an accident with a tree falling on him and then the mother trying to keep the family together," Concordia University theology professor Pamela Bright told CTV Montreal's Cindy Sherwin. "So they knew poverty, they knew anxiety."
A sickly child, Alfred was always cared for by family members and was encouraged to consider religious life.
That led him to College Notre Dame – where he also worked as a doorman and took the name Brother Andre.
That's when his reputation as a miracle healer began to grow.
"He began to burn an oil lamp in front of the statue of St Joseph," Father Charles Corso said. "Every once in a while he would take some of the oil out and put it in a little bottle and he'd tell the person rub where it hurts."
But Father Corso of St Joseph's Oratory says Brother Andre did not believe the oil itself had magical powers.
Instead he believed it gave physical expression to prayer.
Construction on Brother Andre's dream – the Oratory – began in 1914.
Efforts to have him recognized as a saint began in the 1940's.
In 1982 the Vatican recognized a case of healing in 1956 as a miracle and last year recognized a second miracle, giving Brother Andre the two miracles he needed for sainthood.
But it was his common touch that many saw as his greatest contribution.
"It is the ordinariness," Father Corso said, "where he is extraordinary."
Brother Andre's canonization ceremony will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.saltandlighttv.org starting at 4 a.m. Sunday morning.
The ceremony at the Vatican, which will include the canonization of five other people, will be presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.
An online biography, prepared by St. Joseph's Oratory, is available here.
The canonization and news about Brother Andre can also be found on Twitter.