Today's Saint

St. Joseph Cafasso

Born in 1811 in Castelnuovo d’Asti, Italy, Joseph Cafasso emerged as a beacon of hope and compassion in the darkest corners of society. Ordained as a priest in 1833, he dedicated his life to ministering to the most marginalized and forgotten members of society—prisoners.

Joseph Cafasso’s ministry took him to the notorious Turin House of Detention, where he witnessed firsthand the deplorable conditions and despair that plagued the incarcerated. Undeterred by the challenges he faced, he devoted himself wholeheartedly to the spiritual and material welfare of the prisoners, offering them solace, guidance, and hope.

Cafasso’s approach to prison ministry was revolutionary for his time. He recognized the inherent dignity of every human being, regardless of their circumstances or past mistakes, and he tirelessly advocated for their rights and rehabilitation. He worked tirelessly to reform the prison system, calling for more humane treatment of prisoners and promoting education and vocational training as pathways to redemption.

Despite facing opposition and criticism from both authorities and society at large, Joseph Cafasso remained steadfast in his commitment to his mission. He saw the potential for transformation and redemption in every soul, and he worked tirelessly to help the prisoners realize their inherent worth and dignity as children of God.


  • Lesson 1: Compassion for the Marginalized: Joseph Cafasso’s life teaches us the importance of showing compassion and solidarity with the marginalized and forgotten members of society. His ministry to prisoners reminds us of the inherent dignity and worth of every human being, regardless of their circumstances or past mistakes.
  • Lesson 2: Advocacy for Justice and Reform: Cafasso’s tireless advocacy for prison reform challenges us to confront injustice and inequality in our own communities. His example inspires us to speak out against systems and structures that dehumanize and oppress others, and to work towards creating a more just and compassionate society.

Prayer to Saint Joseph Cafasso:

O Saint Joseph Cafasso, you who dedicated your life to ministering to the spiritual and material needs of prisoners, pray for us, that we may follow your example of compassion and advocacy for justice. Help us to see the inherent dignity and worth of every person, and to work tirelessly for the transformation and redemption of all who are marginalized and forgotten. Amen.

Other Saints We Remember Today

Vigil of St. John the Baptist

St. Ethelreda (Audrey) (679), Virgin

photo via Wikimedia Commons