Disclaimer: I receive free products for review as part of the Tiber River Review program, the first Catholic book review site started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases. I wrote this review of St. Giuseppe Moscati for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts.

The following review is an honest review of the work.


St. Guiseppe Moscati, Doctor of the Poor

I’d never heard of St. Giuseppe Moscati until I saw the DVD available for review on Tiber River. After watching the video (and reading the enclosed booklet), I have a better understanding of this early 20th century Italian doctor and his sacrificial work for the poor of Naples.

Dr. Moscati (1880-1927) was the seventh of nine children born into an Italian artistocratic family where the father was very pious and learned, characteristics that Giuseppe would inherit. Moscati’s life was one of sacrifice and he looked on his medical practice as a lay apostolate, a way to minister to the poor afflicted ones of Naples.

The movie opens in 1903 with Moscati beginning his internship in the Hospital for Incurables and ends with his death at the age of 47. Throughout the three-hour movie (originally broadcast in Italy as a mini-series) the viewer learns just how much Moscati sacrifices — his personal comfort, his social status, even his personal love life — in order to care for the poor of the area. The movie veers from reality occasionally: Moscati’s intererst in Princess Elena Cajafa and his antagonistic relationship with his colleague Dr. Giorgio Piromallo; otherwise, at least according to the biography included with the DVD, the movie is an accurate portrayal of Moscati’s apostolate and is based on eyewitness accounts by those who knew or worked with him.

St. Guiseppe Moscati - November 16

One very cool aspect of the movie — many of the provocative quotes in the film are taken directly from Moscati’s personal writings, writings about love, sacrifice, and his spiritual journey.

Throughout the three hours, the viewer gets a strong sense of what Blessed John Paul II mentioned when he canonized Moscati:

Love has the power to unite man with God … and this definitive love matures through the various works of charity that a man performs in the course of his life.

This DVD is in Italian with English and Spanish subtitles, which takes a bit of getting used to, but is worth the effort. I highly recommend this video for high school viewers and above (younger would probably be confused and/or bored), especially those interested in pursuing a medical vocation. Dr. Moscati’s life will show these prospective medical students what it means to truly live the medical vocation! Dr. Giuseppe Moscati was beatified on November 16, 1975. The miraculous healing of a young ironworker with terminal cancer was St. Moscati’s canonization miracle. The man’s mother dreamt of a doctor wearing a white coat and subsequently identified him from a photograph as Giuseppe Moscati. Not long after that, the man was cured and returned to work. He was canonized on October 25, 1987 by Pope John Paul II and is the first modern doctor to be declared a saint. His feast day is November 16.

Excellent movie about this amazing man!

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