Starting around the age of 7, St. Joseph Cupertino had recurring ecstatic visions. He failed as an apprentice to a shoemaker and at age 17 was denied admission to the Friars Minor Conventuals due to his unintelligence. He became a lay brother with the Capuchins but was dismissed due to the distractions from his ecstasies. His wealthy uncle denied helping him because of his failings. Cupertino was allowed to work in the stables as a servant at a Franciscan convent. His humility, obedience, and love of penance became known there and the Saint was admitted to the clerical state in 1625. Although he lacked human knowledge, as he was hardly able to read, Cupertino was so filled with supernatural knowledge that he surpassed others in his schooling, solving the most complex questions. He was raised to the priesthood in 1628.
His life became a string of visions and “heavenly favors.” Anything that was relatable to God would put him in an ecstatic state such as the sound of a bell, church music, the mention of God, the Virgin Mary or a Saint, events in the life of Jesus, a holy picture, or the thought of glory in heaven. He would be raised from his feet and levitate and hear heavenly music. Piercing him with needles, burning his flesh with candles nor dragging him around would bring him out of his contemplation. The voice of his superior was the only thing that would make Cupertino obey.
Cupertino’s life was surrounded by these phenomena so much so that for 35 years he was not allowed to celebrate Mass in public, to keep choir, to eat his meals with his Order, or to attend processions or other public functions. He remained in his room where he had a private chapel. Cupertino was brought before the Inquisition and moved from house to house to hide him from the crowds that he attracted. He was deserted by man but God was ever more clearly with him. He died September 18th 1663 at the age of 60 and was canonized in 1767.