Saint Joseph of Cupertino, born in 1603 in Cupertino (in Apulia), is a Franciscan friar recognized as “the patron saint of students”, whose life was characterized by intense devotion to God, mystical experiences and extraordinary gifts.

From a young age, Joseph showed a great thirst for knowledge and a deep devotion to the Christian faith. He engaged in the study of theology and philosophy, demonstrating a deep spiritual understanding that led him to become a Franciscan friar despite his limited intellectual abilities. Precisely because of these difficulties, which Joseph was able to overcome with God’s commitment and help, he is considered the main patron of students.

St. Joseph is remembered in particular for his mystical experiences, during which he entered a state of ecstasy and spiritual transcendence. He was often lifted off the ground during prayer or while participating in Mass, experiencing an intimate union with God – for this phenomenon of levitation he is also called “the saint of flights”. His extraordinary experiences make him a model of faith and holiness.

Unfortunately, these gifts caused him great suffering and persecution: he had to live many years as a prisoner, in Assisi and other convents, finally in Osimo (in Marche), where he died on the 18th of  September 1663 (his feast day ), and where his body rests today.

Despite his mystical experiences and the hardships they entailed, St. Joseph always maintained a profound sense of humility and simplicity. He lived a life of poverty, devoting himself fervently to prayer and penance. His humility led him to love and serve others, showing special attention to the most needy and marginalized.

His devotion to St. Francis of Assisi and Mary was deep and constant. He turned to them as models of virtue and as intercessors in his prayers. His trust in divine providence and his devotion to the Virgin Mary always accompanied him along his spiritual path.


The famous city of Cupertino in California (Headquarters of Apple) takes its name from the church of St. Joseph of Cupertino, just like the names of other cities on the west coast of the USA originated from ancient Franciscan figures, for instance, Los Angeles for "Santa Maria degli Angeli" , San Francisco and San Diego.

Youth prayer
St. Joseph of Cupertino

Saint Joseph of Cupertino,
in love with the face of the Lord
present in the Gospel and in the Eucharist
and patron saint of us students,
I’m here to ask for your help.

You know my fears and my hopes:
be there with your support,
in effort and commitment,
in sacrifice and in joy,
in courage for the important choices in life.

Pray for me to the Lord,
so that I can take study
as a decisive means to offer myself
to the world with joy and love.

Saint Joseph of Cupertino,
following your example
let me fly as high as you,
so as to perceive the Lord’s glance on me
and praise him for his infinite goodness.


Order of Friars Minor Conventual

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