You may wonder how Brother André became recognized as a healer or miracle worker. He was first recognized by the students.
A young boy came to him for a haircut one afternoon.
"Why aren't you out playing ball with the others?" Brother André asked.
"I might as well get a haircut," the boy said.
"I have such a terrible headache that I can't go out."
Brother André cut the boy's hair.
When he was finished, he asked how the headache was.
"Why," exclaimed the boy, "it is gone !"
"Don't forget to drop into the chapel to thank St. Joseph,"
Brother called out after him, as the boy hurried to join the game.
The story got around among the students that
Brother André had great power with St. Joseph.
They came to him for their headaches and toothaches.
He patted them on the head or cheek, and often that
was enough to make the pain disappear
"Thank you, Brother André," they said.
"Don't thank me," he always replied. "Go to the
chapel to thank St. Joseph. He can do anything, but I can do nothing." (Ian Bond, A Mountain for St. Joseph, Holy Cross Press, 1965, pp. 30-31)
Brother André never attributed any miracles to himself but to Saint Joseph. Ite Ad Joseph (Go to Joseph) is the characteristic mark of this saint. One day a visitor told him that they obtained many favors from Brother André but that St, Joseph turned a deaf ear to them. He became very upset in hearing this and sick enough to spend several days in bed.
As these stories about Brother André reached parents, he was often asked to stop by their homes whenever there was a sickness in the family. He usually carried with him some oil from from the lamp burning in front of St. Joseph in the chapel school. (On the left is a photo of the actual statue in front of which the oil lamb was). Usually he rubbed the person with this oil or with the medal of St. Joseph). Some were healed and Brother André came to be thought of as a very holy man who can cure the sick. And so more and more people came to Brother André to be healed.
Sometimes a healing would take place by just a few words. One day four men carried a paralyzed woman in a chair into his office. As soon as she entered the room he told her, "Get up and walK". The woman retorted that she could not because her legs were paralyzed. Brother André commanded, "Woman of little faith, I command you, Get up and walk." Suddenly those standing outside saw the woman walking through the door smiling. (Ibi., pp. 51-52) Not everyone who saw Brother André were healed physically but everyone experienced some spiritual healing. One day a priest wanted to know why some were healed instantly while others after a time. He said, "Those who have greater confidence in St. Joseph can be healed faster." (Ibid. p. 53)
Eventually Brother André met with opposition. Parents became fearful that these sick people he met at the college would bring a contagious disease at the school. The college doctor, Joseph Charette, thought he was a quack and should stop caring for the sick. The student director agreed and he was of the opinion that Brother André practiced superstition by healing with oil. So the superior prohibited him from meeting the sick but they kept coming demanding to see Brother André. As a solution, he began to meet the sick at the trolley station across the street from Notre Dame college. This went on for a few years. The college doctor who gave him such a hard time was one day obliged to call upon him. Mrs. Charette had developed a nose bleed which he and other doctors could not stop. She convinced him to call upon Brother André who said that she would not die. As soon as Brother André entered her room, the bleeding stopped.