St. John of God
About Saint John of God
Saint John of God was born on March 8, 1495. He was a Portuguese friar and has become an important religious saint of Spain.
Saint John of God belonged to a wealthy family that became poverty stricken. His mother died while Saint John was a young child and his father entered a monastery. While the boy worked as a shepherd, he decided to dedicate his life to God.
Saint John of God as a Soldier
Saint John of God moved to Spain and joined the army under the Emperor Charles V. He became a hero while fighting in battle. Following his career as a soldier, Saint John of God began publishing religious books using the Gutenberg printing press.
Saint John of God Sent to an Insane Asylum
On Saint Sebastion’s Day, Saint John of God heard the sermon of Saint John of Avila and experienced a spiritual enlightenment. This conversion caused Saint John of God to appear insane and he was thrown into the insane asylum.
Saint John of Avila went to the madhouse to visit Saint John of God. Soon after the visit, Saint John recovered and became devoted to helping the poor and the sick.
Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God
Saint John of God moved to Granada, Spain and spent all his days caring for the lowliest people of the city. Soon, other people joined his cause. Saint John of God formed the Order of Hospitallers which are known as the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God today. This order of St. John of God cares for the sick throughout the world.
The Death of Saint John of God
Saint John of God died on March 8, 1550 which was his fifty-fifth birthday. Pope Alexander VIII canonized him in 1690. The feast of Saint John of God is celebrated on March 8. Catholics today wear a Saint John of God medal or a Saint John of God pendant, asking for the intercession of this holy man. They pray for the strength and the courage to carry on the charitable works of Saint John of God in their own lives.