September 30, 2016
On the last day of their annual meeting, the Bishops unanimously agreed that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) issue a decree approving devotional titles for three Canadian Saints: Saint François de Laval as patron saint of the Bishops of Canada, Saint Brother André (Alfred Bessette) as patron saint of family caregivers in Canada, and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha as protectress of Canada.
Acknowledging the strong popular devotion in Canada to Saint Brother André, Saint François de Laval and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha even before they were declared Saints by the Universal Church, the Bishops underscored the perennial and contemporary significance of these saints for the Church in this country. Since the death of Saint Brother André, countless Montrealers and other Canadians in their moments of sickness and disease have prayed for his intercession and do so in our own day. Following the humble example of Saint Brother André, caregivers continue to care for their loved ones, thus contributing to a culture that respects the dignity of each human person. Since Saint Brother André encouraged each person to discover the sacred and precious dimensions of human life, as well as the comforting presence of God, especially during grave illness, the Bishops propose that this devotional title be a means to help encourage and sustain families and friends in caring for the sick and dying.