When we think of saints in the Catholic Church, we tend to think of the popular ones, Peter, Paul, Therese, and Teresa just to name four. Due to the sheer number of saints in our Tradition, it is easy to overlook some of the lesser known ones. For example, have you ever heard of Saint Giuseppe Moscati? Me neither! Ignatius Press has graced us with a book, bearing his name, to tell us more about his life.
The book begins with a backstory on the life of Giuseppe’s father and mother. His father was a judge, so Giuseppe came from a noble family. There were nine children in all, and Giuseppe was number seven! His parents were devout Catholics, and they placed great importance on the Sacraments. Giuseppe was a brilliant boy who used his smarts to become a professor and a doctor. During his time teaching, his life was just as much an example as his words were. He was apparently gifted at autopsies, and he used them as a way to teach medicine and exhibit his faith in a very sad and desolate place. With his brilliance in medicine, good looks, and pleasant personality, he could have had a high-paying job, lived a very comfortable life, and done good works by merely giving a tithe and calling it a day. He instead became a doctor for the poor; often helped people, receiving little to no payment; and almost put other doctors out of business due to his practice. Truly, a great man!
In addition to receiving a biography of his life, this book also contains numerous primary sources to better paint the picture of Giuseppe’s life and the influence he had on others. After his death in 1927, he was beatified in 1975 by Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1987. Often thought of as a miracle-worker in life, his canonization miracle involved curing a man of leukemia. He was the first “modern doctor” to be canonized and his feast day is November 16th. This book is a great read during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, because St. Giuseppe Moscati is an amazing example of mercy. Anyone could benefit from reading this book, but if you have a family member or friend in or considering entering the medical field, then I’d consider this a must-read for them. Great book on a great man! Be sure to check out the movie with the same name!
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Copyright 2016 Stuart Dunn
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