Saint Andrew Fournet

Saint Andrew Fournet
Born: 6th December 1752, France
Died: 13th May 1834
Feast Day: 13th May
Patron Saint: Sisters of the Cross
Also Known As: Andrew Hubert Fournet, Andrea Uberto Fournet
Venerated: 10th July 1921 by Pope Benedict XV
Beatified: 16th May 1926 by Pope Pius XI
Canonised: 4th June 1933 by Pope Pius XI

Saint Andrew was born in France in 1752 to a pious and wealthy family.  His mother appears to have been overzealous in her attempts to persuade Andrew to become a priest. Andrew got bored with religious life and was frivolous and undisciplined getting in to one scrape after another. He ran away from school and thought about becoming a soldier even while studying law. His mother eventually persuaded him to go and stay with his Uncle who was a priest in a village.  Through his Uncles influence – mainly in his actions, Andrew went back to education, settled down and realised his vocation as a priest.

After his ordination he become the parish priest at Maille, France. He was still a worldly man though and his local parishioners recognised this and made fun of him.  He finally realised the error of his ways when a beggar who he had refused help to, criticized him.  At this point he sold all his worldly goods and lived a simple life, even his speech became simple.

During the French revolution he refused to denounce his faith and ministered to the people in secret.  In 1792 the Bishop sent him to Spain, but he returned 5 years later and again ministered to the people in secret, where his congregation helped to keep him safe.

He established the Daughters of the Cross of St. Andrew with Saint Jeanne Elizabeth Bichier in 1806.  Its aim was to tend to the sick and the education of the young.  He continued to direct the sisters until his death on 13th May 1834, although retired from his parish work in 1820.  More than once he miraculously multiplied food for the sisters and those in their care as well as being able to levitate and heal.