Thursday, September 18, 2014

St. Joseph of Cupertino, ora pro nobis!

The Basilica of St. Joseph of Cupertino in Osimo, Italy
After this point, the occasions of ecstasy in Joseph's life began to multiply. It was claimed that he began to levitate while participating at the Mass or joining the community for the Liturgy of the Hours, thereby gaining a widespread reputation of holiness among the people of the region and beyond. He was deemed disruptive by his religious superiors and Church authorities, however, and eventually was confined to a small cell, forbidden from joining in any public gathering of the community.

As the phenomenon of flying or levitation was widely believed to be connected with witchcraft, Joseph was denounced to the Inquisition. At their command, he was transferred from one Franciscan friary in the region to another for observation, first to Assisi (1639–53), then briefly to Pietrarubbia and finally Fossombrone, where he lived with and under the supervision of the Capuchin friars (1653–57). He practiced a severe asceticism throughout his life, usually eating solid food only twice a week. He passed 35 years of his life following this regimen.

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