John Román was born on March 6, 1546 in Carmona near Seville. He learned the merchant's trade in Seville. Then he returned to his hometown and opened a linen shop, but that work did not satisfy him. At the age of 19 he abandoned the business, gave his property away and became a hermit. From that moment on, he called himself John Grande Pecador (Great Sinner). However, life in seclusion was not his final vocation. He settled down in the city of Jerez de la Frontera where he took care of prisoners. In those times, prisons were more sites of torture and discomfort than rehabilitation centers, so prisoners needed everything, from food and clothes to medical care and simply humane treatment.
Due to his great commitment and good relationships with people leaving the prison, he was assigned supervision of a care facility for persons expelled from hospitals and shelters. He also helped women of the streets, gathering dowries for them so they would be able to start a family and abandon life in sin. He won the trust of a rich married couple who provided him with funds for opening a hospital in Jerez. Soon the facility became famous for good care of the sick and a deeply religious atmosphere.
In 1574 John Grande made an important decision. He affiliated his hospital with the Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God and joined the order. The same year, during the plague epidemic, he organized help for its victims. The Archbishop of Seville ordered him to reorganize all the institutions taking care of the sick in the city.
He died on June 3, 1600 after contracting the plague. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 6, 1996.
Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was born in Salient in Catalonia, Spain, in 1807, the son of a weaver. He took up weaving but then studied for the priesthood, desiring to be a Jesuit. Ill ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Brigid was probably born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, Ireland. Her parents were baptized by St. Patrick, with whom she developed a close friendship. According to legend, her father was Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Lienster, and her mother, Brocca, was a slave ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guipúzcoa, Spain, the youngest of 13 children, and was called Iñigo. When he was old enough, he became a page, and then a soldier of Spain to fight ... continue reading
By Deacon F.K. Bartels
St. Teresa's whole life is one of simple beauty and fervent purpose; it is a life contained in Christ. She shows us how to live the same way through Prayer.On reading from St. Teresa, a deep feeling of her love for His Majesty envelops us; we begin, in a very real, ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes