PRAYERS TO ST. JOSEPH OF CUPERTINO FOR SUCCESS IN SCHOOL AND EXAMINATIONS Because his father had died leaving debts and his family was consequently homeless, Joseph Desa was an unwelcome addition when he was born in Cupertino, Italy in 1603. As a child he was slow witted and had a habit of standing with his mouth open staring into space. He also had a terrible temper, probably born of frustration. Even his own mother thought him worthless. As a young man he joined the Capuchins but was sent away because the ecstasies he experienced made him unsuitable for work. Finally he was accepted by the Franciscans who, seeing his holiness, put him forward to train for the priesthood. Joseph found the studies difficult, and the best he could do was to learn a small portion of the material he was supposed to know, and then pray that that’s what he would be asked. Whilst with the Franciscans he began to levitate in ecstasy at the mention of any holy thing and only a command from his superior could bring him to earth. He was also investigated because of his antigravitiational activities and subsequently moved into seclusion. He then had his own room and chapel and was unable to leave them. Often those in charge even forgot to bring him food but he accepted everything with humility. St Joseph of Cupertino died a holy death aged sixty. He is patron of students doing exams, travellers (especially those undertaking journeys by air), pilots, and is invoked by children, adults and the elderly who are unloved, abandoned or neglected.