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I have spoken of Angels, God, the Universe, Spiritual Awakenings, Meditations, Transcending and a host of other ‘flakey’ ‘kooky’ and ‘laughable’ concepts. But I have yet to talk about Miracles. Actually, I held doubts about them myself. That is until I witnessed one first hand.

A friend came to Montreal at a time when I was caring for my mother-in-law at the hospital three times a week. My MIL was plagued by Alzheimers which was compounded by a brain aneurysm that required brain surgery. The doctors didn’t hold much hope for her and she was deemed optimised. Yes, humans are categorised the same way computers and other inanimate objects are.

My tenacious husband Mike, who adored his mother as any Italian boy does 🙂 could not and would not accept the concept. His mother was left in hallways, tied to a chair and in bed with restraints. The hospital decided this was for her safety. That is when he catapulted a life saving plan into action. His idea was, if no one cares to feed her, walk with her, speak with her and all give up on her then how could she have a hope to survive another week? She couldn’t walk. She couldn’t really talk, but he made her giggle like a little girl. That glimmer of her former self was all it took to hatch the plan.

We hired a woman to spend time with her and help her eat as well as free her from the mandated restraints. My MIL was going quite bonkers way beyond her illness with those restraints alone. We pictured her wondering if she had committed a crime. It was absolutely heart-breaking to see her this way. The schedule was a bit rough for me, but how could I not care for a human being who was suffering? Away we went to save a life that many would argue was not worth saving. Advanced Alzheimers Disease is a horrendous ending to anyone’s life.

Taking a break with my visiting friend was great for me. We decided to visit a well known sight – St. Joseph’s Oratory. It sits high on a hill with wooden stairs flanked by cement stairs, leading up to the front door. The wooden stairs are easier on the knees for those who climb them, stopping at each stair to make a prayer. It is quite the vision to lay eyes upon!

While entering the paid parking we cracked a joke that they charged parking to pay for the formaldehyde that was in the encasement that held Brother Andre’s heart. Yes, a shrine with a human heart lies in the wall of St. Joseph’s.

There is also a beautiful chamber where candles can be lit for any number of events and prayers along with many, many other interesting rooms and floors. Within the Candle Chamber were crutches, canes and abandoned wheel chairs. The people who left them are presumed to be healed. Hard to believe isn’t it? At least I thought so and have since first visiting many years ago.

When we reached the floor that contained the shrine encasing Frere Andre’s heart I noticed several people lined up to pray directed to him through his heart. This would be a tough one for me, but I stood behind three others prepared to ask this heart to allow my MIL to walk.

Those ahead of me had prayer experience. Lots of it. I waited wondering how to word a favour so large when I was a bit of a skeptic. Would that fact cancel out my chances? My relationship with God had been on shaky ground for a while. Would that be another point against me? Would my words be holy enough for him to hear?

Blushing, I gave it a go. I said, “I am here for Filomena. She loves you, God and Padre Pio. I know you and Padre Pio were close. She prayed every day, maybe three times a day, always for others. Now I am here to prayer to you for her because she forgot how. If there is at all a chance could you arrange to have her walk again soon. Thank you……… Amen.”

That was the Friday. On Saturday it was my husband’s turn to visit. He stopped by the house first to pick up a prayer card (Padre Pio) to take to the hospital. He tucked it under her bed pillow and one under her mattress. Mike had no idea I had had a talk with Brother Andre the day before.

That Saturday evening, he told me that his mother had walked for the first time in a couple of months. Tears welled up in me. I told him it was Brother Andre and explained my request for a miracle the day before. We were struck by our belief. We were overwhelmed by the possibility that a long dead Saint or two could pull off what was needed for the first step of recovery.

While she still suffered from Alzheimers and remained tied up while no one was visiting, she did gain strength enough to be transferred to a wonderful home with like minded women. She was the leader of the escape artists there, where herself and 3 others had to wear bracelets because they walked too much and hatched plans to escape outside. My Mother-in-Law has since passed away, quite peacefully as she bled-out without ever waking again. She took with her my respect and left behind hope for other miracles in our lives.

mama photo in frame

To learn more about Brother Andre and his healings please follow this link FRERE ANDRE

The stunning recovery of a child who was involved in a traumatic street accident in 1999 was submitted to the diocesan tribunal in February 2005, the year when Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal celebrated its 100th anniversary. The report of this recuperation was submitted to the Vatican committees. Unanimously, the doctors, the theologians and then the Holy Father agreed that it was a scientifically unexplainable healing, and was attributed to Blessed Brother André because the child’s parents as well as friends of the family had addressed their prayers to him, hoping that the impossible might take place.


Merry Christmas everyone. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season filled with peace, joy and a miracle to call your very own. ❤

Lesley Fletcher is a writer (freelance, books, content, lyrics,stage plays) as well as a visual artist specializing in monoprints. To learn more about her please visit the tabs here on WordPress or her website at http://www.LesleyFletcher.com