Sunday, November 10, 2013

St. Joseph of Cupertino

St. Joseph of Cupertino was a seventeenth century Franciscan and mystic. As a child, he received ecstatic visions. His mother treated him harshly, and he was considered slow and absent-minded. He was apprenticed to a shoemaker but failed. In 1620, he tried to join a group of friars but was turned down because of his lack of education and his visions. He worked for the Franciscans as a layman for five years before finally being admitted into the order. He became a priest three years later.

His visions began to multiply. He became known for levitating during Mass and Liturgy of the Hours. His superiors deemed this disruptive and banned him from public gatherings. Because levitation was commonly associated with witchcraft, Joseph was subject to the Inquisition. He was never found guilty of witchcraft, but because of the suspicion, he was moved around from region to region. 

He lived a life of severe asceticism and died in 1663. St. Joseph of Cupertino is the patron of air travelers, astronauts, people with mental handicaps, and test takers. His feast day is September 18.

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