Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 66(2) May 2016
Saint Giuseppe Moscati
by Antonio Tripodoro S.J.
Saint Giuseppe Moscati (1880-1927) was an Italian physician, medical researcher and teacher who was canonised by Saint John Paul in 1987. He is a great example to us all and especially to those of us in health care. This wonderful book is written by a Jesuit priest who has been a leading promoter of devotion to the Saint. The chapters include those on the Saint as a model student, an extraordinary clinician and a gifted teacher. He had a special love for the poor and the incurable. The final chapters are on his Beatification and Canonization.
There are so many points to reflect on in this work. He was a wonderful teacher:
"As for the diligence of the Servant of God as teacher, one of his chief aims in life was his passion to transmit to others, as completely as possible, all the ideas that were the fruit of his knowledge and experience."
He kept the presence of God throughout the day and when he was with his patients. In his constant relationship with God, Moscati found the light to understand better and diagnose diseases and the warmth to be able to be a good neighbour to those:
"who were suffering and expected the physician to serve them with sincere concern.
From this profound, constant reference to God he drew the strength that sustained him and enabled him to live with integrity, honesty and absolute rectitude in his own delicate and complex setting, without reaching any sort of compromise."
He was devoted to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist:
"As for his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, that was the center of his whole life. He went to Communion every day and very often at very great inconvenience."
He urged his students to receive the sacraments, while leaving them completely free, and although he very often recommended the regular reception of Holy Communion, he did so only with persons who were close to him, whose religious education he knew about."
He had a tremendous devotion to Our Lady, especially Our Lady of Pompeii:
"From my childhood, I have felt drawn to the land where the Queen of the Rosary attracted so many hearts and worked such great miracles. and may she, that Kind Mother, protect my soul and my heart in the midst of a thousand dangers..."
This book helps us to reflect on a genius who had that simplicity of a Saint Teresa of Lisieux. An aristocrat with a great love for the poor. This is a really wonderful read of a Saint who means so much to us.
Reviewed by Pravin Thevathasan
Available from Ignatius Press