Catholic Review of: St. Giuseppe Moscati
Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Intermediate
By MaryGknits (VA) - See all my reviews
excellent biography of a little-known saint, doctor to 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, canonized by JPII Oct 25, 1987) 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.
One very cool aspect of the movie -- many of the provocative quotes in the film are taken directly from Moscati's personal writings.
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. I highly recommend this video for high school viewers and above, especially those interested in pursuing a medical vocation -- Dr. Moscati's life will show these perspective medical students what it means to truly live the medical vocation!