Solemn feast days of our Lord trump every other feast, most particularly Easter, which is why we won’t be celebrating Saint Joseph Moscati (or any of the other saints commemorated on April 12) this year. But in this year of COVID-19, perhaps we can think of him all the same on Easter.
Joseph (1880-1927) was born into a large Catholic family and grew up in Naples, Italy. He became a brilliant medical doctor, researcher, and hospital administrator, but above all, he was able to combine personal holiness and his vocation in caring for the sick in a remarkable way. He treated and cured many patients, but he also prayed with them. Sometimes he seemed to know how to diagnose and treat a patient without even having seen him; other times he cured patients by gently encouraging them to seek the sacraments, as well as medicine, for healing. While caring for his patients one day, he took a short break and died of a stroke. The miracle that was cited in his canonization was the complete cure of a young man fatally ill with leukemia; the man’s mother saw a doctor in a white lab coat in a dream and, after her son was healed, only recognized Joseph as the doctor who had healed her son when she saw a photograph of him.
As so many people suffer from sickness and so many medical professionals spend themselves to serve the sick, we can ask our Lord to bless us with a few more miracles this Easter, through the intercession of the gentle doctor-saint, Joseph Moscati.