18 Feb

St John of God, Confessor

John of God, born of devout Catholic parents in the town of Montemor Nova in the Kingdom of Portugal, was chosen by the Lord for an unusual destiny.

Chosen by the Lord for an unusual destiny

Recalled from a lax way of living by the grace of God, he began to give an example of great holiness. With the alms of the devout, he erected two large hospitals in the city of Granada and founded the order of Brothers Hospitallers for the Service of the Sick.

The Brothers Hospitallers for the Service of the Sick

His compassion for the poor and his self-contempt were well known. He excelled by a wonderful devotion to the Blessed Virgin and was noted for the gift of tears.

Stricken with a grave illness, he took the image of Christ Crucified into his hands, pressed it to his heart and died in the Lord on the eighth of the Ides of March, in the year 1550.

The Supreme Pontiff Alexander VIII added him to the number of the saints. Leo XIII declared him the heavenly patron of all hospitals and of chronically ill everywhere and ordered that his name should be invoked in the Litany for the Dying.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964



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