Saint John of God, born in 1495, underwent a profound spiritual transformation at the age of 40. After years of military service and a departure from his Christian faith, he experienced a profound awakening to the depth of his past misdeeds. This realization propelled him to dedicate the remainder of his life to serving God, initially leading him to Africa with the aim of liberating captive Christians and possibly achieving martyrdom.

However, he was soon counseled that his quest for martyrdom was not founded on genuine spiritual insight, prompting his return to Spain where he began a modest venture running a religious goods store. Yet, his soul remained restless. Influenced by a sermon from the Blessed John of Avila, John of God exhibited a dramatic public display of self-flagellation, pleading for mercy and expressing deep repentance for his life’s actions. This act led to his confinement in a mental institution, where he was visited by the Blessed John of Avila, who advised him to channel his energies into serving others rather than focusing on self-imposed suffering. Heeding this counsel brought John peace, and he soon left the hospital to dedicate himself to assisting the poor.

John established a haven for the impoverished sick, initially sustaining his mission through personal begging. His dedication and the visible impact of his work soon attracted support from the community, including notable figures like the archbishop and the marquis of Tarifa. John’s service was deeply intertwined with a rich inner life of prayer and humility, traits that endeared him to many and eventually led to the formation of the Brothers Hospitallers, a global religious order, by his followers 20 years after his death.

The order’s commitment to caring for the sick was so esteemed that it was charged with the medical care of the Popes, a lasting tribute to John’s legacy. Despite health challenges in his final decade of ministry, John discreetly managed his condition while ensuring the continuity of his work by organizing the hospital’s administration and designating a successor.

Saint John of God passed away on his 55th birthday, March 8, 1550. He was canonized by Pope Alexander VIII on October 16, 1690, and is venerated as the patron saint of hospitals, the sick, nurses, firefighters, alcoholics, and booksellers, with his feast day celebrated on March 8. His life story remains a testament to the transformative power of faith and the enduring impact of selfless service to humanity.

Editorial credit: Bill Perry /
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  1. St.John of God,please pray that my mom will get better if possible be free/cured from all of her long illnesses. St John of God,please pray for me to God the Father and Jesus his son, Amen.

  2. I pray for your intercession for the alcoholics in our family, the nurses, firemen, hospitals, the sick, and the booksellers whom are struggling with life, Amen!

  3. St John of God. Pls pray for me. Help me to success in the LVN program help me to pass with 80% and continue in mi clinicals.

  4. St John of God., Please pray for me. I need every good gift and every perfect gift from God. His mighty healing power is welcome, May He heal my body and soul to be free from all demons of sickness. Asking for His blessing to be upon me, now and forever. All pray for me. Amen.

  5. Thank you for sharing this story! I am a nurse and I am glad that we have a patron saint! My husband was an alcoholic. I prayed to God everyday. He eventually quit drinking.

  6. St. John of God, I pray and ask for your guidance in my work as a R.N. Please help me to gain employment.
    I hope and pray that I can fulfill my passion to care and serve patients with enthusiasm and utmost patience. Strengthen me in my undercomings and make me an instrument to love and care the sick. Amen

  7. Thank you God for all the trials, tribulations and continued blessings. So many in need. Please help them. Help me stay focused on what YOU want done. All for God’s honor and glory. Amen.

  8. St. John of the Cross- Please intercede for me to our Lord Jesus Christ that my prayers for my son, Robert, be answered. Robert is facing difficult judgments due to past troubles with alcohol. Lord, you know Robert’s needs. Help him according to your will and for the glory of God. And I pray not only for Robert but for all who have fallen victim to the evils of alcohol. May Jesus, our Good Shepherd, have mercy on them all and bring them back into His flock. Amen

  9. st john of god transform my grandson to b the child god created him to b and togherter with Jesus and mama mary heal and deliver him form drugs and all substances that is unhealthy for him i know that my prayers r being answerd and so i want to give honor and glory and praise to u and all the angels and saints. Jesus i trust in u increase my faith.amen amen and amen.

  10. St. John Of God, patron of sickness please pray and ask God to heal all people in the world that they have some sorts of illnesses, especially myself and the rest of my family.

  11. Dearest St. John of God, I come before you on behalf of those suffering from diseases of the heart, especially (name person).
    I ask that you fervently pray that if it is God’s will that their hearts be healed of every ailment and that they enjoy the fullness of health. If it is not, please pray that they have the grace and strength to bear their sickness with patience and dignity and ask God to bless them with caretakers who are wise and who can alleviate their suffering.
    Thank you St. John for your love and intercession. Amen.

  12. Saint John of God , give me the best of health, so that I may do your will!
    St John protect your people from every illness, as they live life with your Love!
    St.John be always near our priests, they give their lives for us in Prayer and Deeds!
    St.John guide us always,,,,,,,as we try to walk in your footsteps!
    St. John ,watch over me, I ask now and forever!

  13. Please pray for my partner’s daughter in law Katrina who has CRPS a debilitating condition that causes excruciating pain. There is no cure.

  14. St. John of God, you are patron of the sick. I ask for you intercession to lovingly reveal God’s will for my wife as she and our family struggles with her incurable disease. May she and there like her find peace and solace in our Father’s loving embrace. Amen

  15. Saint John of God, I offer my eldest son Jeremy, a military paramedic, to your protection. Bring healing and witness to Christ through his hands. Unite his heart and mind and soul to the Cross. Let him feel God’s infinite mercy and presence through his work with the sick, the dying, the neglected, the abused, the poor, the disabled, the elderly, the unborn. Amen.

  16. Saint John of God, thank you for coming to me. Thank you for giving me the time, context, and inner movements to pay attention to your calling. Forgive me for having you wait but it was only today I understood. I am blessed to have been introduced to your gentle holiness. Saint John of God, you are most welcomed in my life.

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