Joseph was born in 1603, at Cupertino in Naples. As a child, he already showed a fondness for prayer. He soon joined the Conventuals and began to study for the priesthood. As he was rather slow and absent-minded, the studies were very difficult for him. Yet, Joseph passed his exam and was ordained in 1628. After this, Joseph’s life was said to be filled with ecstasies and levitations. More than 70 times, people reported seeing him rise into the air while saying Mass or praying. The mere mention of spiritual matters was enough to take him out of his senses. People flocked to him to seek help or advice, and he converted many. He was even examined and exonerated by the Inquisition at one point. He is the patron saint of both aviation and students taking exams. His feast day is September 18.
Questions for Reflection:
- How can you help those who are disabled, either physically or mentally, to reach their full potential?
- How have you persevered when it seemed like the odds were stacked against you?