“Heaven is filled with converted
sinners of all kinds,
and there is room for more.”
St. Jospeh Cafasso was born in 1811 to an Italian peasant family. Although he was plagued with curvature of the spine, Joseph became a successful teacher, preacher, and confessor. His life signifies hope to all those who suffer with disabilities and demonstrates their value to society.
Soon after his ordination to the priesthood, he joined the seminary in connection with the Church of St. Francis Assisi in Turin. As a teacher and eventual head of the seminary, Joseph revived the teachings of St. Francis de Sales and St. Alphonse Liguori which point the way to Christian perfection. While a very popular teacher, Joseph is best known as a confessor. He had a gift for releasing penitents from scruples.
Corporal and spiritual works of mercy abound in Joseph’s life. His heart went out to the orphans, the poor, the sick and those imprisoned. He was consoling and forgiving with those detained in prison by hearing their confessions and being a conduit of God’s mercy. He was comforting when he restored the prisoners to the grace and friendship of God and accompanied them to their public executions.
Joseph lived a short life, welcoming death at the age of 49. In 1947, Pope Pius XII declared him Saint Joseph Cafasso.