Monday, March 8, 2010

St. John of God

St. John of God is the patron of booksellers and therefore our patron at St. Mary's Bookstore. One of my favorite saints because he realized his vocation late in life and pursed it to the point that John of Avila had to tell him to tone it down a bit. He "advised him to be more actively involved in tending to the needs of others rather than in enduring personal hardships". Adding to the Book of Saints by Daniel Lord, I wrote several of the biographies for the new book, including the one on John of God. The stories are perfect for young children around 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. Below is a sample:
St. John of God
John left home at a young age and worked as a shepherd. The man he worked for wanted him to marry his daughter but John wanted to find his way in the religious life.
John went through many tough times before he found what God wanted him to do. He was a soldier in the Spanish army. He worked loading ships and later selling books and holy pictures. He even opened his own bookstore for a while. But John began spending more and more time with the sick and the poor.
He was put in a hospital himself for a time and while he was there he helped others who were sick like him. When he got out of the hospital, he decided to keep helping the sick and the poor. He first worked helping the poor people living in the streets and later opened a house for the sick and the poor. He begged on the streets for beds and medicine and food.
One night the hospital in the city caught on fire and he went and rescued all the patients who could not save themselves. He passed through the flames without getting burned. This is why John of God is one of the patron saints of firefighters as well as booksellers, hospitals and the sick.
His Feast day is March 8th.

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