Thursday, 18 September 2008

Memorial of Saint Joseph of Cupertino

So who is this saint? Let's turn to Wikipedia:

- born Giuseppe Maria Desa on June 17 1603 at Copertino, Puglia, Italy
- was remarkably slow witted and clumsy as a child- had little formal education- unsuited for scholarship as had a learning disability
- attempted to join the Friars Minor Conventuals at 17 years of age but lack of education prevented him from gaining admittance- was soon after admitted as a Capuchin, but removed from the organization shortly thereafter when his constant fits of ecstasy proved him unsuitable- was admitted into a Franciscan friary near Cupertino in his early twenties
- on October 4 1630 he was assisting in the procession on the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi when he suddenly soared into the sky, where he remained hovering over the crowd- after that on hearing the names of Jesus or Mary, the singing of hymns, during the feast of St. Francis, or while praying at Mass, he would go into dazed state and soar into the air, remaining there until a superior commanded him under obedience to revive
- other paranormal abilities: could smell the bad odor of a sinful person, had the gift of healing
- in 1653 the church authorities transferred him to a Capuchin friary in the hills of Pietarossa and kept him completely out of sight - was ordered to live in seclusion and not speak to anyone except the Bishop, the Vicar General of the Order, his fellow friars, and, in case of a health crisis, a doctor
- on August 10 1663, became ill with a fever- died on the evening of September 18 1663 after receiving the last sacraments, a papal blessing, and reciting the Litany of Our Lady
- was canonized on July 16 1767- because of his many 'flights', he is the patron saint of those traveling by air, astronauts, and pilots who fly for the NATO Alliance- also the patron saint of those undergoing examinations of any kind and of students, having struggled with being a poor student himself

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