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Saint of the Day - St. John-Joseph of the Cross (March 5)

Saint John-Joseph of the Cross is not to be confused with St. John. of the Cross (feast day December 14). He was a seventeenth and eighteenth century saint. He was born around the middle of the seventeenth century.He was born Carlo Gaetano Calosinto on or about August 15, 1654 (the Feast of the Assumption of Mary) and died March 5, 1739 (both dates and his birth name are from He was a Franciscan monk and priest who has an amazing story. Join me as we delve into the story of Saint John-Joseph of the Cross.

Image retrieved from and used as being in the public domain

St. John-Joseph of the Cross was born sometime around the middle of the seventeenth century (maybe 1654) on the island of Ischia, which is said to be a very beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea near Naples, Italy. Ischia is in Italy.

From his earliest days, he was the model of a virtuous child. At the age of 16, he joined the Franciscan Order of the Strictest Observance also called the Reform of Saint Peter of Alcantara (feast day October 18).

Young John-Joseph of the Cross was very influential, even as a young monk. He also had a reputation for holiness. After only three years as a monk and before he was ordained to the priesthood, he was sent out to form a new friary of monks at Piedmont. He was ordained to the priesthood, against his will and only out of obedience, at Piedmont. St. John-Joseph assisted in the construction of the monastery.

Air the monastery at , he served in a number of roles including Novice Master and Superior of the monastery. He was eventually promoted to Provincial for the Province of Naples. It did not matter what his position was, Saint John Joseph always performed the lowliest of tasks including working in the kitchen, carrying wood or water to the friars or even to chopping the firewood, and cleaning. No work was below him, for his chosen station in life was as the servant of the servants of God. As provincial, he ordered that no beggar should be turned away from the convent gates (in that time, monasteries that housed men or women were referred to as convents) without being helped. When resources were scarce, he would give his own portions to those in need. He was a true Franciscan in putting the needs of all others before his own needs.

When Saint John-Joseph's term as Provincial had expired, he dedicated the remainder of his life to hearing confessions and practicing mortifications.

He practiced daily acts of mortification and penance. Even when he was sick, he refused to allow himself any respite from hearing confessions, saying Mass and practicing mortifications. He was known as a very holy man who was given the gifts of prophecy and performing miracles, most of which were healing miracles (he wanted those he healed to drink some natural elixir so that it could be said that the healing was natural).

Saint John-Joseph of the Cross died on March 5, 1739. Pope Pius VI beatified him on May 24, 1789 (a mere 50 years after his death, which is relatively fast). He was canonized by Pope Gregory XVI on May 26, 1839 (only 100 years after his death).

Saint John-Joseph of the Cross, pray for us!


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