Saturday, October 30, 2010

St. Joseph of Cupertino: The Patron of Students Taking Exams

St. Joseph of Cupertino, the patron of students taking exams, lived in Italy during the seventeenth century. His father, a poor carpenter, died before Joseph was born and his homeless mother gave birth to him in a stable in 1603 near Naples, Italy.

At seventeen Joseph tried to be admitted to the Franciscans but was refused because of his ignorance. He was accepted shortly afterwards as a lay brother by the Capuchins, but because of his continual ecstasies, he was dismissed. But Joseph did not lose hope. With continual prayer he succeeded in getting a job as a stable hand in a Franciscan monastery near Cupertino. He became a priest in 1628. Joseph read poorly, but was infused with supernatural knowledge. He surprised many with his ability to answer the most intricate questions.

His life was a long succession of visions and ecstatic states that would occur anywhere, any time, and frequently during Mass. He would often levitate (which led to his patronage of people involved in air travel) causing public admiration but disturbance to his religious community. Joseph, for thirty-five years, was not allowed to say Mass in public and was confined in his room and a private chapel. He died in 1663, was beatified in 1753 and canonized in 1767. His body is in a basilica dedicated to his honor in Osimo on the Adriatic coast of Italy.

Prayer to St Joseph of Cupertino
St. Joseph of Cupertino who by your prayers obtained from God the favor to be asked only the questions you knew well at your examination. Grant that I too may like you succeed in the examination which is before me. In return I promise to make your name known and to have it invoked.

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