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The Independent Online
TODAY is the feast day of Saint Joseph of Cupertino who lived in Southern Italy in the 17th century. As a child and adolescent he was stupid and clumsy, unable to hold any job. The Franciscans took pity and allowed him to work in their stables and sing in the choir. His purity was beyond doubt but his reading and writing skills were abysmal. He knew only one Bible text but, by chance, it was the very one chosen to test him for ordination. From then, things went better for Joseph and the rest of his life was marked by supernatural happenings. Sheep and birds gathered to hear him pray and over 70 levitations have been documented. His fame spread but the church became alarmed, sending him to ever more secluded friaries. He died aged 60, revered by all but virtually a prisoner.

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