Looking for some recommended reading on the saints this month? Mary Cordes sums up her favorites in a three-part series. Check out the others here.
This September we’re also sharing the ‘Flying Saint’ St Joseph of Cupertino, the author of one of the Gospels – Matthew the Evangelist, and the famous stigmatist and confessor of our age, Padre Pio.
St Joseph of Cupertino
On September 18th, the Church celebrates Saint Joseph of Cupertino O.F.M.Conv. (1603-1663) Priest and mystic. This saint was caught up into ecstasy and levitated so often that he was declared patron of aviators and flying. He is also invoked by students studying for exams. Our family loved the classic movie on his life: “The Reluctant Saint”.
A biography that was written by a brother monk during the year of St. Joseph’s beatification is: “JOSEPH OF COPERTINO” by Brother Paolo Antonio Agelli, written in 1753.
“A biography of Joseph of Copertino (Cupertino), famous as “the monk who could fly.” (It was translated into English in 2014, by Christopher David Costanzo.) This biography describes Joseph of Copertino with vivid frankness, including his childhood, his relationship with his mother, his physical and mental shortcomings, his humiliation at the hands of family and acquaintances, and his later asceticism and self-mortification.”
A fun-to-read biography on this saint is: “Saint Joseph of Copertino” by Father Angelo Pastrovicchi, O.M.C.
“An incredible Franciscan saint (1603-1663), most famous for his miracles, levitations and severe penances. He spoke with animals and could smell the stench of sin in penitents. The devil said of him, ‘Friar Joseph is the worst foe we have.’ ”
St Matthew the Apostle
On September 21st, we honor Saint Matthew, (also known as Levi) Apostle, Gospel Writer and Evangelist, living in the 1st century. As a former tax collector he is the patron of Accountants, Bankers, Bookkeepers, and Tax Collectors.
“In this Gospel we hear the persuasive voice of the publican Matthew, who, having become an Apostle, continues to proclaim God’s saving mercy to us. I urge you to become familiar with the Bible, and to have it at hand so that it can be your compass pointing out the road to follow.” -Pope Benedict XVI
A nice book for children is: “Matthew the Apostle: Banker and God’s Storyteller (Saints and Me!)” by Barbara Yoffie.
“Matthew was a tax collector. In Jesus’ day, Jewish tax collectors worked for the Romans and were often disliked for being unfair. Then one day, Jesus asked him to follow his way. Matthew invited Jesus into his home and became an apostle. After Jesus ascended into heaven, Matthew spread the Good News and wrote one of the gospels…”
For adults, “Praying with Saint Matthew’s Gospel: Daily Reflections to Lead You through the Word of God” by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., is a wonderful addition to your library.
“Praying with Saint Matthew’s Gospel is an excellent way to introduce friends, family members, parishioners, and those who are new to the faith to “the heart of all Scriptures.” Grow in your love for God by following Christ daily through the Gospel of Matthew. This is a book to read at home and to study together with others, to pass along to those interested in the faith, and to share with those seeking to meet Christ in God’s Word. Praying with Saint Matthew’s Gospel will be a great help in the mission of the New Evangelization as proclaimed by Pope John Paul II.”
St Pio of Pietrelcina
On September 23rd, we recall a newer saint of the Church, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina O.F.M. Cap. Also known simply as St. Padre Pio, who was a friar, priest, Stigmatist and mystic (1887-1968). He was born Francesco Forgione and given the name of Pius (Italian: Pio) when he joined the Capuchins.
After his beatification in 1999, he was canonized by St. Pope John Paul II on June 16, 2002. The Holy Father praised the new saint for his prayer and charity. He also stressed Padre Pio’s witness to the power of suffering. If accepted with love, such suffering can lead to “a privileged path of sanctity.”
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” -St. Pio
There are many books on his life and also newer devotional books. One of my favorites is an early book on his life: “Padre Pio: The Stigmatist” by Fr. Charles Mortimer Carty.
“Padre Pio died on September 23, 1968… During the fifty-eight years he was a priest, his monastery at San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, became a mecca for pilgrims from all over the world…Padre Pio joined the Capuchin Order in 1903 and was ordained in 1910. On September 20, 1918 he received the sacred wounds of Christ, the stigmata, which he bore the rest of his life…Renowned for the stigmata, which modern medical science could not explain, Padre Pio also possessed other unusual qualities, such as bilocation, celestial perfume, reading of hearts, miraculous cures, remarkable conversions, and prophetic insight.”
About Mary Cordes
Mary Cordes loves her Faith and the family God has blessed her with. She is still in love with her husband of 35 years and they have eleven incredible children! (They now range in age of 8 to 32.) They also have three beautiful grandchildren. Mary is a full-time homemaker and has home schooled all of her children from preschool through high school, though her class size has shrunk to four children. She enjoys reading, especially about the Lives of the Saints. She is also fond of taking long walks, drawing, picnicking, swimming, and canoeing. She likes playing Badminton, singing and watching 50’s movies with her kids. She enjoys cooking and baking for them too.