Guiseppe Desa, born in a stable in 1603, did not seem to have the natural makings of a saint. Poor and notably uneducated he was rejected by the Franciscan Friars when he attempted to become a monk. Eventually the Capuchins took him in but Desa continued to experience visions and moments of ecstasy that had happened from childhood. These moments of mystical wonder saw him drop plates he was carrying and fail to do even the simplest of tasks. Thought unfit for work he was ejected and only later found a place in another monastery taking the name of Joseph.
His visions continued. He would “stand fixed as a statue, insensible as a stone, but nothing could move him.” Sticking him with pins or burning him could not make him move. But Joseph’s miracles really began in 1630 when, during a procession, he “suddenly soared into the sky where he remained hovering over the crowd.” At other times he floated in the air during Mass and during an audience with the Pope.
A century after his death Joseph was made a saint by the Catholic church and became Saint Joseph of Cupertino – patron saint of aviation and astronauts.
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