Saturday, September 02, 2006

Joseph of Copertino

AKA: Joseph of Copertino; the Gaper; the Flying Friar; Joseph Desa

Patronage:air crews, air travellers, aircraft pilots, astronauts, aviators, paratroopers, flyers, students and test takers.

Memorial: 18th of September

Joseph had a rough start in life. His father died before he was born and his mother was homeless due to debt. He was born in a stable. At age 8 he started having visions that left him staring into space, and earned him the nickname "The Gaper" from his peers.

After joining the Franciscans near Cupertino, his visions intensified. They seemed to be triggered by music, a church bell or images of Mary or even thoughts of heaven. Once he would go into a trance, nothing could wake him. Not even being burnt or pinched. Oftentimes he would levetate or float.
For 35 years he was not allowed to attend choir, go to the common refectory, walk in procession, or say Mass in church. To prevent making a spectacle, he was ordered to remain in his room with a private chapel. He was even brought before the Inquisition at one point.

In September 1663 he died following a sudden fever and is buried in the chapel of the Conception, Ossimo Italy.

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