Europe Priests Saints September

Saint Joseph of Cupertino

Feast Day: September 18

How To Make Neapolitan Pizza

Today we are feasting with… Saint Joseph of Cupertino.

To celebrate this feast day, we are making Neapolitan Pizza. This traditional Italian dish is made with a homemade yeast dough and light, fresh toppings.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Joseph was born in A.D. 1603 at Cupertino, Italy, in the Kingdom of Naples. 

In his early life, his mother often considered him a nuisance and treated him harshly. People said that Joseph was unable to think clearly, and that he was slow to learn. They also said that Joseph would often wander around aimlessly with his mouth agape. When he was older, Joseph asked to become a Franciscan, but they would not accept him at the time. Instead, he was able to join the Capuchins, but even they sent him away just eight months later.

A Franciscan Home

Joseph had a reputation of not being able to do anything correctly, and would clumsily drop dishes or absentmindedly forget to do his chores. As a result, Joseph’s mother was not pleased that he was home again. After asking around, she was finally able to get the Franciscans to accept him as a servant in their monastery. The friars gave Joseph a habit, and put him to work caring for the horses.

Soon, Joseph began to change. He grew in humility, gentleness, and became more careful and successful at his work. Joseph also began to pray more and do more voluntary acts of penance. The Fruits of the Holy Spirit were clearly at work in Joseph’s life. Finally, Joseph was able to enter the Franciscan order and eventually study for the priesthood.


Although he was a good and holy friar, he had a very hard time with his studies. During his seminary exams, the examiner serendipitously asked Joseph to explain the only thing he happened to know well. In doing so, Joseph was able to pass the exam and the Church ordained him as a deacon. Later on, he would become a priest.

After his ordination, he gave himself up entirely to a life of devotion to the Lord and the church. His deep devotional life led him to the kind of holiness forged through humility, voluntary mortification, and obedience. Joseph consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and promoted a devotion to her among all classes of people. He wanted to lead everyone to a deeper Christian life and a love for Jesus Christ.

Miracles Happen

The Holy Spirit began to work many amazing miracles through Joseph. Among them were ecstasies and levitations. The mere mention of God or a spiritual matter was enough to take him out of his senses. There are over seventy reports of Joseph floating in the air while offering Mass or saying his prayers.

Often, Joseph would go into ecstasy and be engulfed while speaking with God. He fell so deeply in love with God that everything he saw only drew him into a deeper union. People flocked to him in droves seeking help and advice in the confessional, and Joseph assisted many in living a truly devout Christian life.

I Will Give You Rest

Eventually, Joseph became so famous for these miracles that the Church kept him hidden from the public. This seclusion made Joseph happy for the chance to be alone with his beloved Lord. While he had to endure many trials throughout his life, Joseph endured them by living simply, glorifying God as a faithful and humble servant.

Joseph died on September 18, in the year of our Lord, 1663. Pope Clement XIII canonized him in 1767.

Joseph is the patron saint of air travelers, pilots, and learning disabilities.

Saint Joseph of Cupertino, pray for us.

How to make Neapolitan Pizza