Holiness Doesn’t Go Out of Fashion, Pope Says

Celebrates 4th Centenary of St Joseph of Cupertino’s Birth

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 26, 2003 (Zenit.org).- “Like all saints, Joseph of Cupertino does not go out of fashion,” the Pope told 6,000 pilgrims gathered in celebration of the 4th centenary of the saint’s birth.

Following a day of rest, John Paul II looked reinvigorated when he met with pilgrims gathered in honor of St. Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663), an Italian Franciscan religious of the Order of Friars Minor Conventuals, and patron of students because of the great difficulties he had with his studies.

According to his biographers, St. Joseph lived in profound union with God, manifested in ecstasies and gifts of healing, prophecy, and the ability to convert sinners.

As soon as John Paul II greeted the pilgrims, in a clear and strong voice, saying: “Dear Brothers and Sisters,” the crowd, most of whom were Italian, broke out in applause.

“Like all saints, Joseph of Cupertino does not go out of fashion,” the Pope said, reading the address he prepared for the occasion. “Four centuries later, his witness continues to be for all an invitation to be saints,” he added.

“He reminds us of the primacy of God, and the need for prayer and contemplation, ardent and confident adherence to Christ, commitment to the missionary proclamation, and love of the cross,” he said.

Father Joachim Giermek, minister of the Order of Friars Minor Conventuals, attended the audience. In his address, he highlighted the secret of Joseph Cupertino’s holiness: to contemplate the face of Christ on the Cross, in the Eucharist, and to abandon oneself with confidence in Mary’s hands.

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