Joseph was born at Benevento in Italy to wealthy parents. He was the seventh of nine children. Then one of his brother's died and Joseph was filled with deep sadness. He asked Jesus in the Eucharist and Mother Mary to help him understand the reason for this suffering.
He was finally convinced that all suffering had to have a purpose. He also realized the importance of expert medical care. Most important though, he understood that our life is a journey toward eternity.
It is our duty to help people and serve them as we journey. Joseph prayed and thought about what he should do with his life. He decided to become a doctor as he wanted to help cure physical pain.
When he was twenty three, Dr. Moscati who had become a learned and famous physician began his service at the Hospital of the Incurables in Naples. Later he opened his own office. All patients were welcome whether they could pay or not. He would write prescriptions for poor patients, then pay for the medicine himself.
Every day was long and hard, but Dr. Moscati remained gentle and kind. He made the effort to listen carefully to his patients. He encouraged them and prayed for them.
Besides being an excellent doctor, he was holy too. How did he do it? Each morning he went to Mass and spent time in prayer. Then the doctor would visit the sick poor in the slums of Naples. From there he would go to the hospital and begin his rounds.
He healed, taught and supported the poor and outcast, and could sometimes tell what a patient's illness was without having seen the patient and prescribe medicines for it. He knew when and how to use a patient's faith and the sacraments to cure them.
For twenty-four years, Joseph worked and prayed for his patients. He was the director of many hospitals and medical societies and poured all his strength into his life's calling. He even served as a doctor in the front lines of World War I.
On the afternoon of April 12, 1927, Dr. Moscati did not feel well, so he went to his office and relaxed in an arm chair. There he had a stroke and died. He was forty-seven.
Dr. Joseph Moscati was proclaimed a saint by Pope John Paul II on October 25, 1987. He was the first modern doctor to be canonized. After his death many pleople who have prayed to him have been healed.