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The Flying Saint


St. Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663) is one of the most remarkable saints who ever lived. He was born in a stable and did poorly in school. He was a lay brother in the Capuchin monastery at Martina, Italy, but was dismissed because “he was good for nothing.” Having spent some time with his uncle, a priest, he was with some difficulty admitted as a third Order brother and stable hand by the Franciscan Conventuals at Grotella. When he was examined for the priesthood, he passed his oral examination because the bishop asked the one and only question he was prepared to answer. He was ordained in 1628. He was known to fast seven times per year for forty days each and became known for his great wisdom and knowledge. He was most famous for his ecstatic flights or levitations of which seventy are recorded in the acts of his beatification. He was witnessed levitating at Mass almost on a daily basis, sometimes for as long as two hours and was said to fly above the trees. He worked numerous miracles; was known to speak to the animals, as did the founder of his order St. Francis of Assisi, and could smell the corruption in an evil man’s soul.    

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