Saint Giuseppe Moscati

12th April

St. Giuseppe Moscati (1880-1927) was canonized in 1987, so he can be regarded as a saint of our times. What we know about him is real, factual and documented. He stands out as being singular because he is an example of how Faith and Science can ‘thrive’ together. He was a medical university professor, outstanding in the field of biochemistry, a scientific researcher whose studies led to the discovery of insulin, a life-saving treatment for diabetes.

He was the seventh of nine children born in an aristocratic, devout Catholic family. They lived in Naples where his father had an esteemed position as Judge. Giuseppe’s career path was meant to follow in his father’s footsteps. However Giuseppe chose to follow a medical career, when he saw how the ‘power of religion’ helped medical care in the case of his brother who had suffered incurable head injury after falling from a horse.

As a young Catholic, studying at the University of Naples, he continued to practise the Faith in spite of the fact that he was surrounded by an atmosphere of non-believers and negative attitudes towards Religion. He never failed to hear Mass every day. He carried a Rosary in his pocket as he believed in seeking help from Jesus and Our Lady when he needed to take crucial decisions. At one time he considered becoming a Jesuit, but then decided that his vocation lay in the world of medicine and he chose to be a Secular Franciscan. He never married.

He became a hospital administrator and refused higher promotions, preferring to continue working with patients that had been classified as ‘incurables.’ Besides, he treated the destitutely poor at his clinic not only without charging fees but often sending them home with money in an envelope. He was a frontliner in the outbreak of cholera in 1911 and in treating wounded soldiers in the First World War. In every circumstance, he was always tenderhearted and compassionate. People called him “the loving doctor” and “the holy physician of Naples.”

He died when he was forty-seven years old.

Pope John Paul ll praised St. Giuseppe Moscati not only for his medical knowledge but also for the fact that “in caring for the sick he used the warmth of his humanity and his witness of faith.”

Giuseppe, while healing the sick as a medical doctor, mirrored the love and compassion Jesus showed when he worked miracles and healed people who showed faith in Him.

Jesus heals the children themselves may know narratives of the healing miracles of Jesus. Look them up in a Children’s Bible. You may suggest looking up:

  • The paralysed man lowered through the roof. (Mt.9, 1-8)
  • Healing the Ten Lepers – suffering from severe skin disease ( Lk. 17, 11-19)
  • The Raising of Jairus’ Daughter goes beyond healing, but the kids love this narrative.

 Jesus heals us. Doctors prescribe medicine to help us get better and we do, with God’s help. Jesus listens to our prayers as He also heals us in other ways. He ‘heals’ our feelings, when we are feeling sad, worried, afraid, tired, disappointed, hurt by others.

 Encourage the children to speak about their own experiences, when they felt they needed this healing from Jesus.

In imitation of Jesus, Giuseppe looked out for those who were destitute, ignored, not given the attention that was their due. 

  Explore with the children how they feel towards children with special needs:

  •  Do they approach them, communicate with them, offer them help, befriend them?

  Let them suggest ways how they can be of support to these children.

For Family Prayer Time lead the children in prayer for:

  • medical scientists so that God will continue to help them find cures for diseases and viruses that cause pandemics and long term sickness
  • to give strength and courage to doctors and other frontliners in pandemics and natural disasters, when they have to try and save lives away from hospitals under restricted conditions.
  • Give the children a space of short quiet time to ‘talk’ to Jesus to tell Him when they need His ’special healing.’

Moscati came from a noble family. His father was a lawyer, but he decided not to continue his father’s legacy but to become a doctor. St. Joseph Moscati was a good doctor and helped lots of people; in fact, when a patient couldn’t afford food or medication, he used to give them some money in an envelope to help them. He found Jesus in the sick and the poor. 

Today’s Activity: 

Let us remind ourselves that we can do great things with our tiny hands! Today we will be cooking a delicious soup and a small craft. 

For our craft we need: an A4 cardboard (any light colour), colours or markers, black permanent marker, scissors.

1. Draw the palm of your hands on the A4 cardboard.
2. Cut around your hands with a scissors. 

3. Inside the palm of the hand draw a big heart and with the black permanent marker write: ‘’Served with love’’ or ‘’A touch of Jesus Heals”

Cooking: Choose one of these Healthy Soup Recipes and help adults to make a delicious soup.

When ready, give a portion to someone who is sick, poor, alone and give them this soup together with one of your hands craft! 

Don’t forget to send us some pictures!

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.