March 2001, Volume 6, Issue 8   
Lent, a Time to Reflect
Rev. Mark Connolly
First Sunday of Lent
Second Sunday of Lent
Rev. Mark Connolly
Third Sunday of Lent
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Thought for the Month
Henry A. Tuckett
Lent is for Lovers
Rev. Raymond K. Petrucci
Prayer of Reconciliation
Saint of the Month
Catholic Corner
John of GodSaint of the Month,
John of God

After a devoutly Christian upbringing in Portugal, John of God led a wayward life as a soldier fighting in the Franco-Spanish wars and against the Turks; and as an overseer of Moroccan slaves.

He was age forty when he came to repent of his wasted life. He was so moved by a sermon by the famous preacher John of Avila that he roamed the streets screaming with sorrow for his sins. For a time he was so demented that the authorities decided to put him a lunatic asylum.

John of Avila visited him and calmed him. In 1539 John of God left the hospital and began to set up his own hostel for the poor. He sold wood to feed them and although he was constantly short of money, the work prospered. The Archbishop of Granada gave his support. John begged money from rich ladies. 'We receive here every kind of case,' he wrote to one of them: 'cripples, paralytics, lepers, the deaf and dumb, the insane, people with diseases of the skin, the old, children, pilgrims and vagrants.' The work attracted many devoted helpers, 'Brothers Hospitallers', who (after the saint's death) spread throughout Italy, Spain, France and Central Europe.

In 1550 he leapt into the River Ximel to rescue a drowning child. The shock brought on a fever which killed him. He was sixty-five years old.

From A Calendar of Saints, the Lives of the Principal
Saints of the Christian Year.

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