St. Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860)

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St Joseph CafassoToday, June 17th, the universal Church honors St. Joseph Cafasso, priest and reknown preacher.

Joseph as a youth, dearly loved the Triune God and His Catholic Faith, wherein he loved to attend Mass and participate in the Sacraments. He became a priest and was assigned to serve at the seminary in Turin. At the seminary, Father Joseph preached in part against Jansenism, a heresy that emphasized predestination and the depravity of humankind. Father Joseph used the writings of St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Frances de Sales in part to assist him in fighting against this heresy.

Father Joseph emphasized devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, the true presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, encouraging attendance at Mass and reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist, further reiterating as did St. Athanasius, that the Holy Eucharist is “God making Himself accessible to man.” Father Joseph spent long hours of prayer consistently in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and it was this practice that gave him strength, courage, determination and love. The following prayer set forth in a letter of St. Francis to his Order is most appropriate:

“O admirable heights and sublime lowliness! O sublime humility! O humble humility! That the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under the little form of bread! Look, brothers, at the humility of God and pour out your hearts before Him! Humble yourselves, as well, that you may be exalted by Him. Therefore, hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves so that He Who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally.”

Father Joseph was known as a tremendous preacher, enlightened Confessor and ardent retreat master. He especially worked with criminals, bringing them back to Our Lord.

Indeed and in fact, the famous St. John Bosco was one of Father Joseph’s students. Father John encouraged John Bosco to start the Salesian Order of priests and to work with the youth of Turin.

Father Joseph died in or about 1860 and was canonized as a saint in 1947.

Dear St. Joseph Cafasso, we thank you for your fierce defense of Truth against various heresies, especially against Jansenism, and for your defense of the Faith. We ask you to help us to have that same passion and love of Truth, and to help us remember how important it is for us to remain in the state of grace so that the Blessed Holy Trinity will reside in us as our holy, mighty and immortal guest, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. We ask you dear ardent priest, to help us and to pray for us!

With Love and respect,


Sources: Vatican website; Franciscan Media

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0 responses to “St. Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860)

  1. Wonderful! He sounds like a precursor to David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge, and author of “The Cross and the Switchblade.”

  2. St. Joseph Cafasso was the teacher/mentor of St. John Bosco! Thank you, Joan!


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