Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith

Our patron saint

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Listener Al Masciocchi sends along this photo of a plaque on a building in Baltimore.

St. Joseph Cupertino Center

Al reminds us that not only was St. Joseph of Cupertino known for his levitating during prayer, he was ordained as a result of correctly answering one question—the one answer he’d furiously prepared. (He had a learning disability.)

Writes Al: “He has long been one of my favorite saints. I learned of him in grade school from the Immaculate Heart of Mary nuns back in Philadelphia. He was the patron saint of test takers. I was taught a prayer, ‘Oh great St. Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the favor to be asked only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favor for this exam for which I am preparing.’

“I said that prayer before every test I took thereafter, up to and including every actuarial exam I ever took. And I’ve been telling my children the prayer since they started taking tests. I also remind them that the prayer always works better if you have studied 🙂

“I never knew much about St. Joseph until earlier this year. We were visiting my daughter who had recently moved to Baltimore and while out for a walk passed a Catholic Church. I don’t remember the name of the church but the church hall across the street was named “St. Joseph of Cupertino Hall”. I yelled when I saw it and pointed it out to Cathy. Now, a priest was standing outside the church as this was Sunday morning and Mass was starting in 5 minutes. I immediately went over to him to ask him about the hall, telling him of my long and fond association with St. Joseph. He asked me if I knew the rest of the story. When I said I didn’t he told me that Joseph wanted to be a priest but he was ‘dumb as a rock’ but through some family connection was allowed to apply and had to take a test. He only studied the first chapter in the book but succeeded anyway.

“Who knows how much of that really happened but as Father John [Pesce, of our first interview] would say “Just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”

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