St. John (also known as Juan, born 8 March 1495, died 8 March 1550) grew up working as a shepherd in the Castile region of Spain. He led a wild and misspent youth, and travelled over much of Europe and north Africa as a soldier in the army of Charles V, and as a mercenary. Fought through a brief period of insanity. Peddled religious books and pictures in Gibraltar, though without any religious conviction himself. In his 40’s he received a vision of the Infant Jesus who called him John of God. To make up for the misery he had caused as a soldier, he left the military, rented a house in Granada, Spain, and began caring for the sick, poor, homeless and unwanted. He gave what he had, begged for those who couldn’t, carried those who could not move on their own, and converted both his patients and those who saw him work with them. Friend of Saint John of Avila, on whom he tried to model his life. John founded the Order of Charity and the Order of Hospitallers of Saint John of God.
St. John Of God
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