Saturday, February 4, 2006
St. Joseph of Leonissa

Today the Church remembers St. Joseph of Leonissa (1556-1612), a saint I was not too familiar with. He was born in the Kingdom of Naples and lived life by denying himself hearty meals and comfortable quarters in order to live a humble life focused on Christ’s humility and love.

In 1587, St. Joseph journeyed to Constantinople to take for the Christian slaves working for the Turkish. His work there for the Gospel lead to his imprisonment. St. Joseph was released and told never again to help the Christian slaves. And, St. Joseph went and helped them still. He was imprisoned and condemned to die when he was miraculously freed. St. Joseph journeyed to Italy and worked to heal family feuds and serve the poor.

St. Joseph of Leonissa was beatified by Clement XII in 1737 canonized in 1746 by Benedict XIV.

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