About St. John of God
St. John of God believed in his heart and acted on his feelings no matter what the cost. Patron saint of those with heart ailments and of booksellers with a feast day on March 8, he was born in Portugal in 1495. He took care of sheep in Castile, Spain although most of his energy was devoted to leading a dissolute life. He fought as a mercenary for Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor who also ruled Spain.
The wild journey of John of God continued as he traveled to the north coast of Morocco in the company of as knight and his family. When they fell ill he nursed them to health. During that time he found himself disillusioned by the conduct of “Christians” in the city. Returning again to Spain he moved to Grenada where he began to sell religious books and holy cards. However, he was so overcome with faith while listening to John of Avila sermonize that he retired from the army and started helping the indigent, unwanted, and infirm.
John of God established the Order of Hospitallers of Saint John of God and Order of Charity. He leased a Granada house where he began treating the desperate and poor. He died in 1550 in Granada.