St. John Grande, A Saint so far yet so near
St. JohnGrande was born at Carmona (Seville, Spain) in 1546. He was a Brother with a
greathuman and mystical talents, considered to be a pioneer of care by his fellow Brothers,a man of God in whom mysticism and science were in perfect harmony in thesimple language of love and charity. He lived in difficult times, when the gapbetween the poor and the rich was unbridgeable. John Grande had made God thecentrepiece of his whole existence. In the first part of his life, we see him livingas a hermit, seeking God in prayer and in solitude; a particular hermit,attentive to the signs of the times. His life of prayer and penance never causedhim to lose touch with reality by cutting himself off from the world; on thecontrary, he saw all the pain, suffering and marginalisation that dominated hisworld. Only people with a deep spirituality and particular sensitivity are ableto grasp the real and existential needs in life. We may think of him as a truemystic of hospitality; every new work of God stems from a mystical view of reality.
John theSinner, as he called himself, went from his experience as a hermit to takingcare of the poor, the sick, prisoners, the most marginalised and the incurable people,in an age of famine, epidemics and so much poverty and misery. Drawing on his deepspirituality, great organisational skills and enterprising abilities, he tookon the task of reforming and reorganising health care in Jerez de la Frontera(Cadiz, Spain), adopting a firm stand against abuses of power, and thesquandering of alms and donations that had been given for the benefit of hospitals.
He devotedhis whole life to the apostolate of charity, to the "management" ofhis hospitals and in prayer, to the point of dying while still in service atthe age of 54, after being infected with the plague as he nursed the sick atJerez de la Frontera (Spain).
He wasbeatified by Pius IX on 3 November, 1853 and canonised by John Paul II on 2June, 1996.
From the GeneralPostulation office
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