Father Alexandre Toé: Process of the Beatification and Canonization opened

The official opening of the “Process on the life, virtues, reputation of holiness, and signs” of the Servant of God Alexandre Toé was celebrated on March 15, 2024, at the Courtroom of the Vicariate of Rome, the territory where he lived, especially during the last months of his life, and where he died on December 9, 1996.

The opening ceremony of the “Cause of beatification and canonization,” called the First Session, began at 12:00, with the reading of the Decree of introduction and the nihil obstat from the Holy See, the installation of the tribunal appointed by the Cardinal Vicar, the swearing-in of the tribunal members, and those of the general postulation of our Order.

It is a great joy for our entire Camillian charismatic family, for the Diocese of Rome, and for Burkina Faso, as it is the first beatification cause of our Order outside Italy. A great joy indeed.

One beautiful aspect of Father Alexandre Toé can be found in an expression noted in his spiritual diary: “The poor Burkinabé in rich Rome,” which reflects his belonging to his people, Camillian spirituality, and the style of his human and spiritual life. Poor, meaning begging for love for God and for the sick brother, as reminded by His Excellency Most Reverend Monsignor Paolo Ricciardi, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rome, who presided over the First Session, representing the Cardinal Vicar.

On October 5, 1991, Father Alexandre was sent to Rome for medical treatment due to a manifestation of hepatitis, and at the same time, he began studying Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University.

At the end of his studies, on October 18, 1994, he made his Solemn Profession at the church of Santa Maria Maddalena, the seat of the General Curia of the Camillian Order; on January 15, 1995, he was ordained a Deacon by His Excellency Most Reverend Monsignor Armando Brambilla, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rome and Delegate for Pastoral Healthcare, at the church of the “Villa Sacra Famiglia” Nursing Home in Monte Mario – Rome; upon returning to Burkina Faso, on July 1 of the same year, he was ordained a priest by His Excellency Most Reverend Monsignor Jean Baptiste Tiendrebeogo, auxiliary bishop of Ouagadougou.

He returned to Italy where, in 1996, his superiors entrusted him with the task of vocation promotion of the Province and appointed him assistant master of Postulants at the study house (studentato) in Rome. He carried out his ministry with fervour and competence, transmitting through his smile and his spirituality, as various testimonies attest, love for the little ones of the Gospel: the poor and the sick, who were the privileged way for Father Alexandre to reach holiness.

Pope Francis in the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate affirms: “Are you consecrated? Be holy by living your commitment joyfully” (n. 14). Father Alexandre Toé is the realization of what the Holy Father says here, as he, inhabited by the joy of the Risen Lord, made his life a gift both in the generous response to the Lord’s call and in the exercise of ministry within the city of Rome, albeit for only 17 months.

Father Alexandre within our Church, in the Camillian Order, and in the contemporary world, was a religious who, as taught by the Second Vatican Council in the Decree Perfectae Caritatis, was “animated by a complete faith, love for God and neighbour, love for the Cross, and hope in future glory,” and therefore can represent a valid model for those who choose to adhere to the Lord’s call in the profession of the evangelical counsels.

On March 16, we gathered, in one choir, in the Basilica of San Camillo – Rome, and thanked the Lord for the gift of Father Alexandre Toé with a Solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided over by His Excellency Most Reverend Monsignor Prosper Kontiebo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Ouagadougou, and concelebrated by numerous priests. Yes, one choir, one family. This is the teaching of the saints: to be one, to praise God in a single song of praise.

We, the Camillian charismatic family, have the task of making known and spreading this extraordinary figure: a gift for the whole Church; to pray that the cause may proceed smoothly and to ask for his intercession for the healing of our sick brothers.

Fr. Walter Vinci MI
General Postulator