It’s of common sense that human beings cannot fly, simply because we’re not created to do so – well unless you’ve some supernatural powers like Mr Clark Kent.

However St. Joseph of Cupertino, born in 1603, was bestowed by God with the gift of flying, amongst the others.

Over 70 times, people saw him rise from the ground while saying mass or praying. He would also levitate at the mention of Jesus and Mary. Often he went into ecstasy and would completely rapt up in talking with God.  He was most devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and promoted devotion to her among all classes of people.

“The Reluctant Saint” is a 1962 film inspired by the life of St Joseph of Cupertino. This short clip depicts the crowd seeking to revere him and to ask him to heal their health. St Joseph in the film flew too!


St Joseph had a terrible childhood, though. 

His mother considered him a nuisance and treated him harshly. He was absent-minded, awkward, nervous; a sudden noise, such as the ringing of a church-bell, would make him drop his schoolbooks on the floor. He would sit with his companions after school-hours, and try to talk like them, but every time his conversation would break down; he could not tell a story to the end, no matter how he tried.

Young St. Joseph was unwanted and was depised everywhere because of his weird behaviour. 

Eventually, he was admitted into a Franciscan friary near Cupertino. He had a learning disability, and legend has it that he would study intently for one small section of the material, because that was all he was able to do, and prayed that the material he studied would be what he was tested on. For example, one time when the friar administered a test, he happened to ask the one question Joseph had prepared for. 

Thus, because of his many ‘flights’, St. Joseph is the patron saint of those travelling by air. He is also the patron saint of students taking exams, having struggled with being a poor student himself. 

Along with this went a power over nature, over the birds and the beasts of the field… (Read more if you are interested to know how he called the sheeps in the fields to the chapel to honour the Mother of God)

St. Joseph had a special interest in the shepherds of the neighborhood; with people of that class he was always most at home. It was his custom to meet them every Saturday in a little chapel at a corner of the monastery grounds, and there recite with them the Litany of Our Lady and other prayers. His congregation was usually a large one, swelled by people from the village. One Saturday St Joseph went to the chapel as usual, and found not a soul there. It was harvest time; shepherds and villagers were out in the meadows and had forgotten to tell him that that day they could not come. St Joseph, knowing nothing of the reason, talked to himself about the fickleness of men in the service of God. As he spoke he looked down the valley in the distance. The sheep were in the fields, but there were no shepherds; only a few children to tend them. Joseph raised his voice.

“Sheep of God,” he cried, “come to me. Come and honor the Mother of God, who is also your Mother.”

Immediately the sheep all around looked up. They left their pasture, leaped over hedges and ditches, formed themselves into orderly companies, and gathered round Joseph at the chapel door. When all were assembled, St Joseph knelt down and began:

“Kyrie eleison.”
“Baa,” answered the sheep.
“Christe eleison.”
“Sancta Maria.”

And so it went on till the litany was finished. Then Joseph stood and blessed his congregation; and the sheep went back to their pastures as if nothing unusual had happened.