8 Mar 2017

Saint John of God

John of God was born in Montemor O Novo (Portugal) in 1495, and placed into a family in Oropesa (Spain) when he was eight years old. He enlisted twice in the army and, after being discharged, he ultimately made his way to Granada in 1535.

His life was dramatically changed after hearing a sermon preached by Saint John d’Avila in Granada. For a while he was mentally disturbed and he was admitted to the Royal Hospital for the insane. Soon after he left the hospital, he began to work among the poor, the sick and the needy.

He established a house where he tended to their needs and people began to back him up with money and provisions. He also received the encouragement of the Bishop of Granada, who gave him a distinctive form of clothing, and sowed the seeds of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God.

Almost 500 years later, the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God is an international Catholic religious order of Brothers providing health and social care services in over 50 countries throughout the world which impact daily on the lives of millions of sick, vulnerable and disadvantaged people.