St. Joseph Copertino
by Rev. Angelo Pastrovicchi, O.M.C., 1918
"Some persons derive most benefit from reading the Lives of the Saints in which the supernatural and the extraordinary abound. They delight to see the wonderful display of the power of Divine grace in so frail a creature as man. These biographies, that are written more for our admiration than for our imitation, strengthen our faith in the supernatural, and inspire us with a great confidence in the goodness and power of God. And certainly in these days we need to stimulate and strengthen the life of faith and trust in Providence."To download the entire book, click on the link below.
The rapturous flights of St. Joseph of Copertino have hardly a parallel as to frequency and duration in the lives of the saints. What is related of Christina Mirabilis, who lived 1 150-1224, has been suspected of exaggeration, but our saint, " having lived in more recent times, this his miraculous characteristic could easily be established in an authentic manner."
Father Pastrovicchi wrote his life of St. Joseph on the occasion of the beatification of the saint, 1753. Pope Benedict XIV, to whom the work is dedicated, wished that for each fact related the episcopal and apostolic processes should be cited. This was done. Father Suyskens remarks that the caution of citing the official documents was well employed. "Since the words of the Psalmist, 'God is wonderful in His saints' (Ps. 67, 36), were verified in a singular manner in the life of St Joseph, it was fitting that the extraordinary facts of his life should be attested in such a manner that credence could not be denied them."
Father Gattari regards these miracles as wrought in support of the doctrine of the Real Presence, the authority of the Pope, sacramental Confession and the veneration due to saints, truths which in the time of the saint were impugned by the followers of Luther and other heretics. The fame of the flights of St. Joseph spread throughout Europe and led to conversions as in the case of the Duke of Brunswick. Another explanation offered is, that these miracles counteracted the diabolical arts (witchcraft and necromancy, especially in the kingdom of Naples) and superstition then prevalent.--Preface
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