St. Joseph of Cupertino
Feast Day: September 18
Born: 1603 :: Died: 1663
Joseph was born in a small Italian village to poor parents. He was very unhappy as a boy and a teenager. His mother thought he was a big nuisance so she shouted at him often and was very strict with him.
Joseph soon became very slow and absent-minded. He would wander around as if he were going nowhere. But he had a bad temper, too, and so not many people liked him.
He tried to learn the trade of shoe-making, but failed. He asked if he could become a Franciscan priest, but they did not want him. He then managed to join the Capuchin order, but eight months later he was asked to leave.
He could not seem to do anything right. He dropped piles of dishes and kept forgetting to do what he was told. His mother was not at all pleased to have the eighteen-year-old Joseph back home again.
She finally convinced the Franciscan monastery to take him on as a helper. He was given the Franciscan habit to wear and was assigned to care for the horses.
About this time, Joseph began to change. He grew more humble and gentle. He became more careful and successful at his work. He also began to do more penance.
The Franciscans finally decided to let him become a member of the order and he started studying to become a priest. Although he was very good, he still had a hard time with studies. But Joseph trusted in God's help and he did become a priest.
God began to work miracles through Father Joseph. Over seventy times people saw him rise from the ground while saying Mass or praying. He would balance near the ceiling like a star at the top of a Christmas tree.
Often he went into ecstasy (where you do not see or hear the people around you) and would be completely wrapped up in talking with God. He became very holy. Everything he saw made him think of God.
Father Joseph became so famous for his miracles that he was kept hidden. This made him happy for the chance to be alone with his beloved Jesus who always stayed close to him until he died in 1663.
The life of this saint can help us to understand that to be holy or close to God we do not need people to praise us for our talents and abilities which are a free gift from God.
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