Brother Andre was a man of prayer. He prayed long hours, several times a day, sometimes alone, at other times in the chapel, while traveling, with the sick and in a packed church. [It reminds us of Mother Angelica; she and her Nuns pray and God does the miraculous!]
Brother Andre prayed and a course in miracles book happened! Sometimes people would only have to mention the name of St. Joseph and healings would take place. On other occasions Brother Andre would just be in a room where there were sick people, and they would be healed. He might hand out medals of St. Joseph, or St. Joseph’s oil taken from the lamp at the chapel of St. Joseph and have people pray together. Healings took place.
In 1916, there were 435 cures; this did not include those never reported. He quickly and adamantly corrected anyone who asked him to heal them, or who credited him with having brought about miracles, always pointing to Jesus, Mary and Joseph. He would scoff, “As if human power can heal!” It was important to Andre that the crutches and other evidence of healings be displayed for all the visitors to see and upon seeing, have faith.
When the Provincial of his Order saw the many crutches, he ordered him to take them down. Brother obeyed! As God would have it, the Provincial became ill and was in the same infirmary as Brother Andre the miracle worker. Now, he would have an opportunity to talk to him! He began, “You have always taught us that Miracles are signs given by God.”
He went on, saying “crutches are signs by God that miracles have taken place, through the healings that have come about at the Oratory.” He continued, telling the Provincial that God has given these signs to His children to show that He cares so much, He will bring about miracles to heal them.
Just as miracles are signs given by God, so are the crutches. And if God has granted these signs, who would dare take it upon himself to hide them? Besides, they were the outer signs of His foster-father’s love and concern for us. “Jesus spoke, using signs that the people could relate to,” Andre insisted. These are the signs that the faithful of today understand. Needless to say, the crutches were replaced, lining the walls, with new ones added each year.
There was need of the Sacraments so that no one would take his or her eyes off the One and Only True Healer. Yes, Brother Andre did pray, and Saint Joseph did intercede and does till today; but the Healer was, and always will be, the One Who walked the earth and healed, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The people needed a priest! It was 1910; a professor, Father Adolphe Clement came to the oratory. The young priest was sent by his Superior to help Brother Andre. Brother was overjoyed to be working with him.
He was so excited! He explained how people came with more involved ills than he could handle; their needs were more often Spiritual than physical; they needed forgiveness.