Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Joseph of Cupertino (1603–1663)

Saint Joseph of Cupertino (1603–1663)

Patron saint of astronauts and aviators, students, examinations, and those with mental handicaps

Feast day: September 18

Saint Joseph of Cupertino showed a love of prayer from a young age. After working for the Franciscan friars for several years, he was finally allowed to enter the Order and was ordained into the priesthood in 1628. He had a very hard time with his studies.  It is said that the examiner for the diaconate (the last step before ordination) asked Joseph the one question he knew well, and so he passed the exam.

Joseph is best known for his gift of levitating during prayer. This gift led him to be humble, tolerant, and obedient. There were also times when he felt persuaded by temptation and abandoned by God. Joseph fasted and adorned himself with chains for the majority of his life. Because he drew so much attention, he was transferred by the friars of his order several times. He was investigated by the Inquisition but was acquitted by the examiners.

Saint Joseph of Cupertino was canonized in 1767.

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