A 50-year mystery: Brother Andre’s heart was stolen

A 50-year mystery: Brother Andre’s heart was stolen

Would you mind stealing a dead man’s heart, even in a jar? However, 50 years before this morbid event, Brother Andre’s heart was stolen from the Oratory of Saint-Joseph. Let’s take a look at the details of this fairy tale that hides more mysteries…

Alfred Besset (1845-1937), also known as Brother Andre, is one of the most famous characters of the 20th century.e Century in Quebec. He was canonized in 2010 and is deeply admired by the faithful who flocked to meet him in their thousands during his lifetime. Because the first doorman at the College of Notre-Dame would have witnessed countless miraculous cures during his lifetime by using Saint-Joseph oil or by praying to this patron saint of the Catholic Church he adored. Brother André was behind the founding of the Saint-Joseph Oratory in 1904.

Alfred Beset, also known as Brother André, had a profound effect on the people of Quebec. Saint-Joseph, the founder of the Oratory, had the gift of healing the sick.


After his death in 1937, the Congregation of Holy Cross, to which he belonged, wanted to revive his presence for Catholics by reviving an old French practice from the Middle Ages. These famous people are considered divine.

Brother Andre’s heart will thus be preserved in a jar set on a marble plinth on the floor above the oratory. It is at this place that, after his death, the faithful could come to pray and venerate the relic … until he mysteriously disappeared on the night of March 15-16, 1973.

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Steal without plagiarism!

Fathers of the Holy Cross who administered the oratory were those who discovered that Brother Andre’s heart had disappeared on March 16. The police will be immediately alerted and begin an investigation. Strange fact: The monument was stolen without any signs of breaking into it, which suggests that the thieves either had 5 keys that allowed access to the monument or they had the help of an accomplice inside.

The next day, the robbery caused a stir in Quebec. The first page of Montreal Journal March 17 is especially obvious: “We stole Brother Andre’s heart!”

Two days after the theft, the kidnappers got in touch Newspaper And, arguing that the heart has no financial value to the Catholic Church, ecclesiastical officials flatly refuse, demanding a $50,000 ransom in exchange for the relic. For months, the case stalled and no progress solved the puzzle.

Brother Andre's heart

Brother Andre’s heart is preserved in the Saint-Joseph Oratory.

Wikimedia Commons

Got the relic

One morning in December 1974, 21 months after its disappearance, columnist Claude Poirier received a call from an anonymous person who claimed to know the monument’s location. Guided by the signs of this informant, together with the lawyer Frank Shupi, Liar went to the basement of an apartment in the south of Montreal on December 21, 1974, where Brother Andre’s heart was finally found.

Thieves who fail to receive the ransom are never outed and the mystery of their identity remains complete. As for Brother Andre’s heart, it found its place in the sermon, to the great joy of believers and admirers.

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