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John of God

From Academic Kids

Saint John of God (born Juan Ciudad and otherwise called Juan de Dios) (14951550) was born in Montemor do Novo Portugal but became a Spanish friar and saint. Following a religious conversion, he dedicated his life to caring for the sick poor of Granada to where he moved after several journeys and occupations. Before his conversion he worked, among other things, as a shepherd, a soldier and a bookseller. He was converted on Saint Sebastian's day, the 20th of January, whilst listening to a sermon by the man who was later to become his spirital leader and encourage him in his quest to improve the lot of the poor: Saint John of Avila. He went temporarily into what appeared to be a state of madness and was thrown into the madhouse, where he recovered and realised that the poor and needy deserved better than he had received. He later organized his followers into the Order of Hospitallers (Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God), which cares for the sick in countries around the world. He is the patron saint of hospitals, the sick, nurses, firemen and booksellers and was canonized in 1690.

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