Saint John Joseph of the Cross

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St John Joseph of the Cross.jpg

He was in prayer and even spent the night praying and giving thanks.

Father, You raised Your servant Saint John Joseph of the Cross through the rugged way of poverty, humility and patience to heavenly glory. Grant us the grace to follow his example so as to share in eternal joy.

Saint John Joseph comes from the island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples. Some might say it is better than Capri. Virtuous from his earliest days he followed the path set by Saint Peter of Alcantara -the same person who was a spiritual father to Saint Teresa of Jesus-- who developed a strict observant Franciscan fraternity which emphasized contemplation and penance. John Joseph was such an exemplary friar that he was asked to be ordained a priest and to make Franciscan foundations. In time he was appointed both master of novices and provincial superior. His humility endeared him to others; he insisted on menial tasks even though he had noble birth and positions of influence. John Joseph was zealous for souls and it is reported that he had the gift of prophecy and healing. As an insightful confessor John Joseph would encourage people to pray, live simply and be devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

More on Saint John Joseph can be read here.


I am so very interested in learning more about St. John Joseph of the Cross. I am a Secular Third Order Franciscan and his Feast Day is also my birthday. Are there prayers, relics, statues, etc. in regards to St. John Joseph available?

Dear Harry,

Thanks for the note. I post the opening Mass collect for all the Franciscan saints and blesseds that are in the Franciscan Roman Missal. You can see the other Franciscan saints/blesseds in the category section (on the right side) on the Communion blog. I am not certain about other prayers to St John Joseph of the Cross but I'll check. As for relics, that may be hard to come by but you can check with the OFM provincial in the nearest province to where you are living and/or write to the Minister General in Rome, Fr Jose Carballo.

PAX et Bonum,


I have been Catholic for only 6 months and have been involved in my local chapter of CL for about 3 of those months. Right now we are reading the Religious Sense. I must confess, I feel quite inadequate to understanding these cerebral texts. I know intellect is nothing without wisdom, and I sense that these passages are infused with both. I want to see the world with eyes wide open, especially "to the demands imposed by the question itself," as Guissani says.

While reading about St. John Joseph, I was left with the impression that he might have been associated with the Carmelites, quite the understatement! Carmelite, St. Therese of Liseux is my patron and first introduction to ethereal realm of the cloud of witnesses. I suffer from an incurable disease, so I'm curious to know about his gift of healing. Do you have any information or resources? Sorry if this was too verbose. I really appreciate your blog!

Thank you so much for your email. I made my day. I am happy to know that you are neophyte in the Faith. What a great gift of witness.

You are right: Giussani can be too dense. He takes a lot of work to understand. I've been following the Movement for 5 years and I am still learning Giussani method to holiness. His thinking is not always clear and there's CL-speak that makes getting to the heart things quickly difficult. Perhaps that's part of the genius...we need to work. Question: are following the method the movement closely? That is, do you work on the text given in the School of Community (SoC) each day and verify the text against your personal experience? Only the verification using the facts of your life viz. Giussani will things begin to make sense.

So you are not alone in feeling that Giussani's method is hard work. Faithfulness to the community of CL is so very crucial plus the daily Mass and the Divine Office, charitable work etc.

Where are you living?

I will be posting more on the Religious Sense over the next few months.

If you want, I can point you to a friend's SoC --at least online-- so that you can work more fruitfully. Let me know and I'll be happy to send Henry's email and blog.

Let poke around for more info on St John Joseph of the Cross. Stay tuned. If you are looking for spiritual assistance in carrying the cross you've been given by the saints, I would look to:

The BVM, St Joseph, St Agatha, St Catherine of Siena, St Richard Pampuri (advocated by Luigi Giussani), Blessed James Salmone, Fr Luigi Giussani, Rose Hawthorne.


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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page contains a single entry by Paul Zalonski published on March 5, 2010 6:00 AM.

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