Who is St. Giovanni St. Giovanni Giuseppe aka St. John Joseph of the Cross

Who is St. Giovanni St. Giovanni Giuseppe aka St. John Joseph of the Cross

Happy Feast Day, St. Giovanni Giuseppe, aka St. John Joseph of the Cross

August 15, 1654 to March 5, 1739 • Ischia, Italy • Feast Day — March 5th

Today is his feast day, and this is the very saint that I knelt in front of fifteen years ago. I asked, “God, if there is anything you need me to do with my life, inspire me now. Tell me now.” And I heard as clear as day, “Share the stories of the saints…as heroes for our youth. Saints are real people, just like you and me. They simply learned how to walk this Earth in union with Christ, and miracles happened. Saints are not to be adorned on a shelf. They are simply inspiration to remind every person that we, too, are called to be saints. We, too, are called to walk in union with Christ, and we, too, are called to bring forth God’s miracles through our hands, feet, body, and soul. Tell the stories of the saints. Make it hip and cool and fashionable. Keep it simple — one virtue with one saint. Allow it to simply open the door of curiosity, and ‘we’ will do the rest.” The “we” was the company of heaven! That one moment, that one prayer, that one revelation… changed my life forever.

St. John Joseph of the Cross, in that moment, on the small island of Ischia, inspired me to spend the rest of my life sharing the stories of the saints in cool, hip, and fashionable ways. My Saint My Hero was born on the steps of his catacomb!

The story gets even more and more miraculous as the days and years go on. I could literally write a book about the many times that I humanly wanted to give up or throw in the towel. But St. John Joseph of the Cross found a way to pick me up by the bootstraps, inspire a new direction, and kept this mission alive, against all odds. Through Christ, all things are possible! YES, and when our dreams and actions match our divine calling and purpose, nothing can stop us!

Today, I went to Mass, in celebration of St. John Joseph of the Cross, at my hometown church of Mary Star of the Sea in San Pedro. As I walked past the statue of St. Giovanni Giuseppe and saw so many Italians from Ischia kneeling and praying, my heart jumped with joy. This incredible saint continues to inspire so many from his spot in heaven. When we cry out to a saint and ask them to pray for us, we are calling on our friends in heaven that we know are a little bit closer to God, and we are asking them to bring our petition to God in a very special way. I imagine the saints in heaven as our saint squad — guiding, helping, and pulling us along on our holy path. St. John Joseph pulled me back on my path fifteen years ago, and I am humbly grateful that God cared so much to allow this saint to be my inspiration. I needed a reminder that it is ok to be human, it is ok to fall, it is ok to wander far away from our holy path, and it is ok to come back. I needed God to meet me where I was and show me the way, and he used this incredible saint from Ischia to ignite my heart. Thank you, St. John Joseph of the Cross, for all of your prayers and your continued daily inspiration. I have learned to clearly prioritize, and I have learned that LOVE is on the top of that list. I love differently now.

P.S. A crazy thing just happened. I looked up St. John Joseph of the Cross and found an article on www.franciscanmedia.org that said, John Joseph helps us clarify our priorities and make us more loving. Well, that is EXACTLY what he did for me! He truly is a saint... defined as one that continues to work miracles in people on Earth while in heaven. St. John Joseph created a miraculous shift in my life in exactly the way that he is known by many. I know I am not the only one. However, I sure feel special in this very moment. A saint in heaven pulled me back on my path. Thank you, God!

Happy Feast Day! Happy 14th Anniversary to My Saint My Hero! St. John Joseph of the Cross (St. Giovanni Giuseppe), pray for us!

(originally published 3/4/2023)


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