Saint Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860)
for June 23
Saint Joseph Cafasso was born to peasant parents in Castelnuovo d'Asti, which is in the Piedmont region of Italy. He was ordained to the priesthood and became a popular professor of theology at the Institute of Saint Francis. Saint Joseph fervently opposed Jansenism, an extreme obsession with sin and damnation, and worked against state intrusion into Church matters. He became rector of the Institute of Saint Francis and was admired by his students for his holiness, discipline, and high standards. Saint Joseph Cafasso was an excellent confessor and spiritual advisor. He visited and ministered to prisoners, working to improve their horrible conditions and helping many of them to die at peace with the Lord. Saint John Bosco was one of Saint Joseph's students and friends. Through Saint Joseph's encouragement, Saint John Bosco discerned that his vocation was to work with boys, and established the Salesians. Saint Joseph passed on to his heavenly reward on June 23, 1860. He is the patron saint of prison chaplains, captives, and prisoners.
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Saint Joseph Cafasso shared Jesus' message with those whom he came into contact with on a regular basis, as well as those whom he went out of his way to share God’s loving message with--those in prison. Do you go out of your way to share the Good News with those who are forgotten by others, or who have made poor decisions? Spend a few quiet minutes in prayer with the Lord. Ask him for help ministering to all those who need his message of love and forgiveness.
Dear Lord, you shared your message of love and forgiveness with us. However, some have not heard this message, have forgotten your words, or feel that your message no longer applies to them because of what they have done. Please grant me the strength to share your Good News with these people.