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John of God was born of pious parents in 1495 in Montemoro Novo in northern Portugal. Obscure circumstances led to him being absconded from his parents into Spain at the age of nine to be raised by a farmer.

Pleased with his pious character and diligence the farmer insisted that John marry his daughter, whom John viewed as a sister. Unwilling to do so, he enlisted in the army of Emperor Charles V and served in the wars between France and Spain and later against the Turks.

In the army John took on the loose lifestyle of soldiers for which his upright character would later bitterly reproach him.

On leaving the army he made a trip to Portugal in an attempt to find his parents. News of his mother’s premature death after his mysterious disappearance saddened him.

Succeeding years find him engaged in different occupations first in Seville, then Gibraltar and later in Africa, to ransom with his own liberty the Christians held captive by the Moors. At the advice of his confessor he returned to Spain and began selling religious books and pictures as a form of apostolate.

Around this time John, who was now about forty, had a vision of the Infant Jesus holding an open pomegranate (in Spanish “Granada”), Who said to him, “John of God, Granada will be your cross.”

Proceeding to the city of Granada, John was struck to the heart by a sermon of St. John of Avila. Entering a period of intense remorse for his sins, he went about as if deranged beating his breast and calling out for God’s mercy. St. John of Avila convinced him to desist from his lamentations and to take up another method of penance to atone for his past life.

He then made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Guadeloupe where the Blessed Virgin revealed to him his vocation. On returning to Granada, John of God dedicated his life to the care of the sick and poor. After renting a house, he searched the city for the homeless and afflicted with all sorts of diseases and carried them on his shoulders to shelter. Soon others joined him in the endeavor.

Though St. John of God never officially founded an order in his lifetime, his work was later constituted into the Order of the Hospitallers of St. John of God.

John of God died exhausted by his labors on behalf of the abandoned of society and died on his knees before an altar on March 8, 1550 at age fifty-five. The whole of Granada, rich and poor, the powerful and the weak attended his funeral.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 25, 2021

When you can do nothing at prayer, make acts of humility, co...

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July 25

 

When you can do nothing at prayer,
make acts of humility, comparing
your nothingness with God’s greatness,
your ingratitude with His benefits,
your lack of virtue with the purity and perfection of the saints.

St. Claude de la Colombière


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. James the Greater

The Virgin Mother, then still living, appeared to him on the...

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St. James the Greater

James the Greater was the son of Zebedee and Salome, one of the women at the tomb on Easter morning, (Matt.27:56, Mark 15:40, 16:1) and the brother of John – probably the elder of the two. He is called “the greater” to distinguish him from James the Lesser, who was probably shorter in stature.

There is evidence in Scriptures that these two brothers were cousins of the Lord, which may explain Our Lord entrusting His mother to John as He was dying. Both James and John were probably of a fiery temperament for which they were called “sons of thunder.”  They once wished to call fire upon a city, for which Our Lord rebuked them. (Luke 9:51-6)

James was one of the first apostles called by Jesus, and was one of the three selected to witness His transfiguration.

James was apostle in Iberia, in the region of present-day Spain. Ancient tradition ascertains that when praying one night in the year 40, the Virgin Mother, then still living, appeared to him on the banks of the River Ebro to encourage him in his difficult mission. She was accompanied by a multitude of angels who bore with them a marble pillar on top of which was a small statue of her holding the Child Jesus. She bid James build a shrine where the pillar was to be placed, which he did, the first shrine dedicated to the Mother of God on earth. Today, the sacred pillar, still in the same spot, is enshrined in the great Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza.

James returned to Judea after this apparition, and was the first apostle to suffer martyrdom. He died by the sword in Jerusalem at the command of Herod Agrippa in the year 44. His relics rest in the city of Compostela in northern Spain, the final destination of the famous pilgrims of the “Camino de Compostela.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates t...

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The Rosary and the Possessed Girl

In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates that a Dominican, Father Jean Amat, was once giving a Lenten Mission in the Kingdom of Aragon, Spain, when a young girl, possessed by the devil was brought to him.

Father Amat began the exorcism. After several unsuccessful attempts, the priest had an idea; taking his Rosary, he looped it around the girl’s neck. 

No sooner had he done this, the girl began to squirm and scream and the devil, shouting through her mouth shrieked, “Take if off, take off; these beads are tormenting me!”

At last, moved to pity for the girl, the priest lifted the Rosary beads off her neck.

The next night, while the good Dominican lay in bed, the same devils who possessed the young girl entered his room. Foaming with rage, they tried to seize him, but he had his Rosary clasped in his hand and no efforts from the infernal spirits could wrench the blessed beads from him.

Then, going on the offensive and using the Rosary as a physical weapon, Fr. Amat scourged the demons crying out, “Holy Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, help me, come to my aid!” at which the demons took flight.

The next day on his way to church, the priest met the poor girl, still possessed. One of the devils within her taunted him, “Well, brother, if you had been without your Rosary, we should have made short work of you…”

With renewed trust and vigor, the priest unlaced his Rosary from his belt, and flinging it around the girl’s neck commanded, “By the sacred names of Jesus and Mary His Holy Mother, and by the power of the holy Rosary, I command you, evil spirits, leave the body of this girl at once.”

The demons were immediately forced to obey him, and the young girl was freed.

“These stories,” concludes St. Louis de Montfort, “show the power of the holy Rosary in overcoming all sorts of temptations from the evil spirits and all sorts of sins because these blessed beads of the Rosary put devils to rout.”

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In the Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates that a Dominican, Father Jean Amat, was once giving a Lenten Mission in the Kingdom of Aragon, Spain, when a young girl, possessed by the devil was brought to him.

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