Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Today's saint story

Today is the memorial of St. John of God, who was a hard-living, hard-drinking soldier who came to the Lord in his 40s. After a few manifestations of convert-fever, one of which got him committed to an insane asylum, he grew up in the faith, counselled by Bl. John of Avila, and settled down to establish and run a free hospital, where he did a large portion of the nursing and most of the begging himself. About 20 years after his passing, his assistants in the hospital founded the Brothers Hospitallers, which order still exists providing medical care to the poor.

One incident in his life, recorded by a contemporanouus biographer:

The archbishop called John of God to him in response to a complaint that he was keeping tramps and immoral women in his hospital. In submission John fell on his knees and said: “The Son of Man came for sinners, and we are bound to seek their conversion. I am unfaithful to my vocation because I neglect this, but I confess that I know of no bad person in my hospital except myself alone, who am indeed unworthy to eat the bread of the poor.” The archbishop could only trust in John’s sincerity and humility, and dismissed him with deep respect.

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