The Reluctant Saint - The Story of St. Joseph of Cupertino

Item Number: 22502

Catalog Code: RS-M

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Reluctant Saint

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The classic film finally available on DVD!

This DVD has been made from the original archive film master

Maximilian Schell stars as "the flying friar", St. Joseph of Cupertino, in this heartwarming and amazing true story of the humble Franciscan friar who literally rose to sainthood. In the impoverished village of 17th century Cupertino, Italy, Joseph’s peasant mother convinces the reluctant Abbott (Ricardo Montalban) to accept her son into the monastery. With the support of the kindly local Bishop who sees in him a great deal more than others, and by a series of miraculous incidents, the simple but pious Joseph is ordained a priest. Yet some are convinced that it is the devil, not God, who is responsible for Joseph's miraculous powers – until a final miracle reveals to all his true sanctity.

A profound and humorous film for all ages. Also starring Lea Padovani and Akim Tamiroff. Directed by Edward Dymtryk.

Includes a 16 page Collector’s booklet.

Region 1 DVD (North America only). This DVD contains the following language tracks: English with optional Spanish subtitles. Shown in Black & White.

"An amusing, amazing story."
Time Magazine

"Quite a remarkable transformation for Maximilian Schell.
... Ricardo Montalban is outstanding."
Los Angeles Times

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St. Joseph of Cupertino

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 09/18

Patron Of: Air Travellers, Astronauts, Cupertino, Italy, Test Takers, Air Crews, Aircraft Pilots, Flyers, Paratroopers, Students

Also known as
    Joseph of Copertino
    the Gaper (derogatory term from his childhood)
    the Flying Friar
    Joseph Desa

    18 September

    Joseph's father, Felice Desa was a poor carpenter who died before the boy was born. Creditors drove his mother, Francesca Panara, from her home, and Joseph was born in a stable. Starting at age eight, he received ecstatic visions that left him gaping and staring into space. He had a hot temper, which his strict mother worked to overcome.

    Apprenticed to a shoemaker. At age 17 Joseph applied for admittance to the Friars Minor Conventuals, but was refused due to his lack of education. He applied to the Capuchins, was accepted as a lay-brother in 1620, but his ecstasies made him unsuitable for work, and he was dismissed. Abused by his family, he continued his prayers, and was accepted as an oblate at the Franciscan convent near Cupertino. His virtues were such that he became a cleric at 22, a priest at 25. Joseph still had little education, could barely read or write, but received such a gift of spiritual knowledge and discernment that he could solve intricate questions.

    His life became a series of visions and ecstasies, which could be triggered any time or place by the sound of a church bell, church music, the mention of the name of God or of the Blessed Virgin or of a saint, any event in the life of Christ, the sacred Passion, a holy picture, the thought of the glory in heaven, etc. Yelling, beating, pinching, burning, piercing with needles - none of this would bring him from his trances, but he would return to the world on hearing the voice of his superior in the order. He would often levitate and float (which led to his patronage of people involved in air travel), and could hear heavenly music.

    Even in the 17th century, there was interest in the unusual, and Joseph's ecstasies in public caused both admiration and disturbance in the community. 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 brought before the Inquisition, and sent from one Capuchin or Franciscan house to another. But Joseph retained his joyous spirit, submitting to Divine Providence, keeping seven Lents of 40 days each year, never letting his faith be shaken.

    17 June 1603 as Joseph Desa at Cupertino, diocese of Nardo, near Brindisi in the kingdom of Naples, Italy

    18 September 1663 at Ossimo, Italy of a rapidly developed but severe fever; buried in the chapel of the Conception, Ossimo

Name Meaning
    whom the Lord adds (Joseph)

    24 February 1753 by Pope Benedict XIV

    16 July 1767 by Pope Clement XIII

    air crews
    air travellers
    aircraft pilots
    Cupertino, Italy
    test takers

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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