St. John Joseph of the Cross was born in southern Italy on the feast of the Assumption, 1654. He was a young noble, but he dressed like a poor man. He did that because he wanted to be as poor as Jesus had been.
At the age of sixteen, John Joseph entered the Franciscan order. He wanted very much to live a self-sacrificing life as Jesus had. This led him to cheerfully make many sacrifices. He slept just three hours a night and ate very plain food.
Later he was ordained a priest. Father John Joseph became the superior at Santa Lucia's in Naples where he spent most of his long life. He always insisted on doing the hardest work. He cheerfully chose to do the duties that no one else wanted.
St. John Joseph had a very loving nature. But he did not try to be the center of attention. Instead of waiting for people to recognize his gifts and reach out to him, he would reach out to others. All the priests and brothers thought of him as a loving father. He greatly loved the Blessed Virgin, too, and tried to help others love her.
This good priest loved God so much that even when he was sick, he kept on working.
St. John Joseph died on March 6, 1734, at the age of eighty. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Pius VIII in 1839.
Reflection:How do I witness to Jesus' self-giving love in my interactions with others, and how am I responding to God's invitation to overcome the selfishness that holds me back in my relationship with him?