Osimo, Italy: Basilica of Saint Joseph of Cupertino
About Saint Joseph of Cupertino:
This is the home of the patron saint of air travelers (due to the fact that he often levitated), test takers, poor students and sometimes called “the dunce”. As you can probably guess, he was indeed a rather poor student, prone to being distracted and usually unable to concentrate on anything for very long. But we love stories about how God can take those who seem foolish and help them become saints!
His superiors doubted his suitability for the priesthood. Born of a poor family and easily distracted, he was indeed not a good student and in fact did not seem to be good at much of anything, a fact that he readily admitted. In addition to this his health was not good either which meant that he was more of a burden to his family than anything else. And in fact they were happy to see him go. So many of our saints seem to come from those thought to be unworthy when viewed from a worldly point of view!
One day around the age of 17 he saw a Friar begging and decided that this would be the life he needed. No one would expect much of him and that suited him as well. Having two uncles in the order he felt that surely he would be admitted. However, that task proved more difficult than expected. Since he had such a poor academic background, he was turned down repeatedly before one order finally accepted him. But even here, he could not make it. He was forgetful and so downright stupid in the eyes of many that they finally turned him out.
Now he returned home, but was no more welcomed than when he left, except for the fact that his mother went to the head of the order that had turned him out and blasted them for doing so (most likely because she did not want the burden of caring for him rather than any compassion). The order agreed to take him back but only as a Third Order layman and hire him to take care of the monastery mule.
Assigned to the stables, he became a source pleasure to the Friars who were enthralled by his good nature and happy expression. There is much more to the fascinating story of his life, including times when he could prophesy, levitate and had many visions of God. Due to the fact that he had been known to levitate, he became the patron saint of air travelers. If you look at the photo of the church you will see a painting of him flying behind the main altar.
For the complete story we suggest either the Kindle book by Bob & Penny Lord or the somewhat fictionalized (although very good) DVD shown on the right.
About the Church of San Francesco in Osimo:
His tomb is in the crypt of the church of what was the Church of San Frances, and later re-named the Convent Basilica of St. Joseph of Cupertino. You can see the rooms where he lived.
Some Catholic tours do include Osimo, but it is not one of the major stops on most of the tours that go to Eastern Italy.
Traveling to Osimo:
Osimo is about 10 miles from the seaport of Ancona and about 13 miles from Loreto. There is no train service direct to Osimo, the nearest train station is to Osimo-Castelfidardo.
For independent travelers, there are several small hotels in Osimo.
Address: Piazza A. M. Gallo, 10, 60027 Osimo AN, Italy
GPS coordinates: 43° 29′ 11.2452” N, 13° 29′ 2.0112” E
Tel: (+39) 071 714523
e-mail: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of the Sanctuary of Saint Joseph of Cupertino.