St. John of God was born in Portugal to a poor but religious family. When he was 8, a priest visited his village; John was so overcome by the priest’s message that he ran away with him. He later worked on a farm in the Spanish countryside, and briefly became a soldier to avoid having to marry the farmer’s daughter. The aimless John had a vision of the infant Jesus and was converted, dedicating his life to helping the poor and caring for the sick. He formed the order of the Brothers Hospitallers, who to this day handle the pope’s medical care. He is the patron saint of hospitals, the sick, and nurses, among others. His feast day is March 8.
“Who wishes to do good to themselves? Do good for the love of God, my brother and sister in Christ.” — St. John of God
Questions for Reflection
- St. John of God struggled to find his purpose in life. How do you deal with times in your life when you can’t find the right direction to go?
- Who do you go to for advice or guidance? How might you be that person for someone you know?
Tip: This week, volunteer at a local nursing home or hospital — this will carry on John of God’s work, and make you feel good in the process.