April - St Joseph Moscati
It's a time of new life, growth, days of warmth and sunshine. All those winter colds are coming to an end. It is a times of healing, and here is a story about another healer, St Joseph Moscati.
St Joseph Moscati was born on the 25th July 1880 in Benevento, Italy. He was the 7th child of two loving and kind parents.
Soon after Joseph was born the family moved to Naples where his father became the city’s judge. The family lived on the same street as the local hospital and this is where Joseph’s story really begins.
Joseph Moscati was a kind and thoughtful little boy and was often troubled by the pain and suffering that he saw in the hospital. He was hurt by the looks on the sick people’s faces and saddened to see them in pain. It made him angry to see the hurt they felt and he thought he must do something to help them. He decided to become a Doctor. He started to study really hard at school so that he would get good grades, which would mean that he could go to university and finally become a Doctor.
When Joseph Moscati was 22 he left University as a fully fledged Doctor and went to work in a hospital dedicated to looking after people with terminal and incurable illnesses. He showed a lot of compassion, and as well as looking after their bodies he prayed for the people’s souls.
After sometime he left the hospital to set up his own practice. He told everyone that all were welcome, the rich and the poor, the good and the bad, anyone could go to him and he would look after them. When the poor went to see him he knew they couldn’t pay, but he still treated them as though they were a king or queen. It didn’t matter to Joseph who a person was or how much money they had or didn’t have, what mattered to him was how much he could care for them. He would treat the poor free of charge and would even pay for their medication out of his own wallet.
In 1906 the big volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted. When the news reached Dr Joseph he packed his bags and quickly travelled to the site. While others were speeding away Dr Joseph was speeding towards the volcano. There was a hospital near the volcano and he thought of all those sick people and he knew he had to try to get them to safety. So quickly and gently he moved one patient after another out of the hospital building to safe ground.
Each time he re-entered the building he didn’t know if he would exit alive but he only had one thing on his mind, to save the patients in the hospital. Just as he was pulling the last patient from the building the roof of the hospital caved in and the building was gone, swept away by the volcano, but thanks to Dr Joseph all the patients were safe.
Dr Joseph was very busy looking after all his patients but he knew that however busy he was the most important thing to do was to begin his day with Jesus. Before each working day Dr Joseph went to Mass early in the morning and spent an hour or so in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Dr Joseph thought that if he started the day well the rest would turn out fine. To start and end the day with Jesus was essential to Dr Joseph.
When he saw his patients he wouldn’t only prescribe pills, but because he realised they were also sick in spirit and soul he would prescribe prayer too. The prayer would often cure them when pills couldn’t. On the 12th April 1927 Dr Joseph didn’t feel well and after seeing to all his patients he went for a little rest in his armchair and peacefully died in his sleep.
He was known for his kindness, gentleness and holiness, devotion to him spread quickly and Dr Joseph is a saint in the Catholic Church.
St Joseph Moscati, help us to see the world as you saw it, trying to find the little ways we can help others and make this world a better place by putting Jesus at the centre of our lives.