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Saint John Joseph of the Cross

Saint John Joseph of the Cross
  • Century: 17th & 18th Century
  • Patronage: Ischia, Italy
  • Feast Day: March 5th

St. John Joseph of the Cross was born on August 15, 1654 on the Feast of the Assumption, on the beautiful island of Ischia, near Naples.  His birth name was San Giovan Guiseppe della Croce.  From his childhood he was the model of virtue, and at the age of sixteen he entered the Franciscan Order in Naples.  He had a reputation for austerity and for the gift of miracles.  Three years after his entering, he was sent to found a Friary at Afila, Piedmont.  He actually assisted in the construction of the Friary. 

He was ordained a Priest, out of obedience, as he didn’t feel worthy to become a Priest.  As the Superior of his friary, he performed the lowliest tasks in his monastic community, with a strong virtue of humility.  As they grew, he obtained permission to build a Convent and drew up Rules for that community, which were approved by the Holy See.  He had a profound knowledge of theology, and became the Master of the Novices. 

With his work, he suffered much and became the victim of numerous calumnies.  However, the saint succeeded in his labors, instilling in the hearts of his subjects the double spirit of Contemplation and Penance.   He was noted for his heroic virtues especially humility and religious discipline.  He also possessed numerous gifts in the supernatural order, such as the gift of prophecy and miracles.  Exhausted by the labors that consumed him, all for the Glory of God, he died from internal bleeding from an illness, on March 5, 1734 at the age of 84.  He was beatified in 1789 and canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI.  There is a Chapel consecrated to St. John of the Cross on the Island of Ischia, at the Aragonese Castle. 

Practical Take Away

St. John Joseph of the Cross was born on the island of Ischia, near Naples, Italy.  He was known for his strong knowledge in the faith from an early age.  He entered the Franciscan Order at the age of sixteen in Naples.  After three years, he was sent to found a Friary in Piedmont.   He was blessed with the gift of prophecy and miracles, and was known well throughout the Italian speaking countries.  He died at the age of 84, after exhausting himself in building up the kingdom of God.  He was canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI, and was named the Patron Saint of the Island of Ischia, Italy.