Special masses will be celebrated in several Roman Catholic churches and medical facilities in many parts of the country on Monday, March 8, as Roman Catholics commemorate the Feast of Saint John of God (San Juan de Dios), the popular and revered patron saint of hospitals and of the sick.
The well venerated Portuguese friar was the founder of the Order of the Brothers Hospitallers, a religious order present in many countries whose main apostolate was to care for the sick around the world, particularly the poor and neglected.
Granted approval by Pope Pius V, the order has been entrusted with the important task of looking after the Holy Father’s health.
Born on March 8, 1495 in Portugal, his spiritual mentor was St. John of Avila. He died on the day of his birth date in 1550. He was canonized by Pope Alexander VIII on Oct. 16, 1690. His major shrine is located in Granada, Spain.
In 1886, Pope Leo XIII declared St. John as the patron saint of hospitals and the sick and ordered his name to be included in the Litanies of the Dying.