Wednesday, 2 October 2013

San Giuseppe pray for us


Giuseppe Moscati lived from 1880 to 1927. (Text lifted from here)

The life of St. Giuseppe Moscati illustrates how the Catholic faith and practical charity united a layman with God to such an extent that the power of God ultimately worked in and through him.

Giuseppe Moscati was the seventh of nine children born to aristocratic Italian parents. His father's career as a magistrate (judge) led the family to settle in Naples. Every year they vacationed in the province of Avellino, his father's native region, and while there they attended Mass at the chapel of the Poor Clare nuns, with the renowned jurist serving at the altar.


The future saint inherited his father's piety and intellectual gifts. Giuseppe's unexpected decision to study medicine rather than law can be traced to an incident during his adolescence. In 1893 his older brother Alberto, a lieutenant in the artillery, fell from a horse and sustained incurable head trauma. For years Giuseppe helped care for his injured brother at home, and as he matured he reflected on the limited effectiveness of human remedies and the consoling power of religion.

Dr. Moscati then practiced medicine at the Hospital for Incurables in Naples and taught courses in general medicine at the university. "Remember," he once wrote to a young doctor, one of his former students, "that you must treat not only bodies, but also souls, with counsel that appeals to their minds and hearts rather than with cold prescriptions to be sent in to the pharmacist."


Giuseppe Moscati encouraged his patients, especially those who were about to undergo surgery, to receive the sacraments.Dr. Moscati also attended to temporal needs. He treated poor patients free of charge, and would often send someone home with an envelope containing a prescription and a 50-lire note.

On occasion he practiced heroic charity. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in April 1906, Dr. Moscati voluntarily helped to evacuate a nursing home in the endangered area, personally moving the frail and infirm patients to safety minutes before the roof of the building collapsed under the ash. He also served beyond the call of duty during the 1911 cholera epidemic and treated approximately 3,000 soldiers during World War I.


In another letter to a student, Dr. Moscati wrote, "Not science, but charity has transformed the world," explaining that only a few go down in history as men of science, but all can leave the world a better place by their charity.

On a Tuesday in 1927, Giuseppe Moscati went to Mass and received Holy Communion (as he did every day) and then made his rounds at the hospital. After a midday meal he felt weary, lay down, and died peacefully. He was not yet 47 years old.


St Giuseppe... pray for us and pray for the Church.
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