Clearly, what God wants above all is our will, which we received as a free gift from God in creation, and possess as though our own. When a man trains himself to acts of virtue, it is with the help of grace from God, from whom all good things come, that he does this. The will is what man has as his unique possession. —Saint Joseph of Cupertino
On September 18 we celebrate the Franciscan memorial of St. Joseph of Cupertino, Franciscan Friar and Priest, who lived from 1603 to 1663.
I learned of St. Joseph when my grandson Jacob chose the Flying Saint for his Confirmation name and saint-mentor. Jacob aspires to fly, has taken a few flying lessons and plans to educate and train for a career in aviation. He spends many hours on his flight simulator. Joseph of Cupertino had nothing like that in the 17th century, nor did he need one!
Like Jesus, Joseph was born in a stable of poor parents, and his father was a carpenter. It seemed little Joseph was an accident looking for a place to happen, so much did he disrupt the order of work and life around him. His ecstatic visions left him resting in the Spirit, motionless, mouth wide open, in ecstasy, and not able to finish his chores or studies. His levitations amazed and yet irritated the villagers who couldn’t bring him down to earth.
He joined the Franciscans and was assigned to take care of the farm animals yet continued to be a man rapt deeply in prayer. He was ordained and noted for his obedience, humility and patience.
Joseph had an ardent devotion to Christ, the Eucharist and Mary. There are some 70 confirmed instances of levitation or floating during prayer even in the presence of the pope.
LifeTeen.com has a fascinating excerpt from their book, “Holier Than Thou.”
Saint Joseph is the patron of Cupertino and Osimo, Italy; Air Forces, aviators, paratroopers, astronauts and air travelers; as well as students, especially test-takers, and young men like Jacob who aspire to fly.