16 November 2015

San Giuseppe Moscati - doctor

Remembering the kindness of a brilliant young doctor

Doctor and scientist Giuseppe Moscati was beatified by Pope Paul VI on this day in 1975.

Doctor and scientist beatified by Pope Paul VI
Giuseppe was renowned for his kindness and generosity to his patients and even before his death people talked of ‘miracle’ cures being achieved by him. 

He was canonised by Pope John Paul II in 1987 and his feast day is 16 November.

The saint was born into a big family in Benevento in 1880. His father, a lawyer and magistrate, was active in the church and Giuseppe inherited his piety.

The family later moved to Naples and Giuseppe enrolled in the medical school of the University of Naples in 1897.

On graduating he went to work in a hospital but continued with his brilliant scientific research and attended Mass frequently.

When Vesuvius erupted in 1906 he helped evacuate all the elderly and paralysed patients before the roof collapsed on the hospital under the weight of the ash.

He worked tirelessly to research ways to eradicate cholera in Naples and personally cared for many of the soldiers wounded in the First World War.

He was compassionate to the poor and often gave them money as well as free medical treatment and a prescription.

Giuseppe died suddenly in 1927 at the age of 46 having been on duty at the hospital only that morning.

After his death, a young man dying from leukaemia was suddenly and inexplicably cured, after his mother dreamed of a doctor in a white coat. She was able to identify the doctor as Blessed Giuseppe after her priest showed her a photograph of him. The young man who was cured was able to attend the canonisation ceremony of Giuseppe Moscati by the Pope.

The Santuario del Carmine overlooks Sorrento's Piazza Tasso
The Santuario del Carmine
overlooks Piazza Tasso

Travel Tip:

In ancient times, Benevento was one of the most important cities in southern Italy and there are many Roman remains there, including a triumphal arch erected in honour of Trajan and an ampitheatre. In the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta there is a marble statue of Saint Giuseppe Moscati in the chapel of the Holy Sacrament.

Travel Tip:

Overlooking Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Tasso, the yellow-painted, 16th century Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine has a shrine to Giuseppe Moscati in a little side chapel where people can pray to the sainted doctor for comfort and relief.


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