Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God
The Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God are a
Roman Catholicorder founded in 1572. They are also known commonly as the Fatebenefratelli, meaning "Do-Good Brothers" in Italian.
St. John of God, the founder of this religious institution, was born 8 March, 1495, at Montemor Novo, in Portugal. In his fortieth year he was drawn strongly to God's service and began a wonderful life of prayer, penanceand charity towards his neighbour. Pressed by the love of God, and of Christ's suffering members, he founded his first hospital at Granadain Andalusia(south Spain), where he tenderly served the sick and afflicted. It is related in his life that one day the Lord appeared to him and told him that He was much pleased with his work, and for that reason He wished him to be called John of God. After ten years spent in the exercise of heroic charity, he died 8 March, 1550. He was canonizedby Pope Alexander VIIIin 1690; and was declared heavenly patron of the dying and of all the hospitals by Pope Leo XIII, in 1898.
The charity of St. John of God was destined to be perpetuated among his brethren, whom he had formed by his lessons and example. His first companion
Antoni Martinwas chosen to succeed him as superior of the order. Thanks to the generosity of King Philip II of Spain, a hospital was founded at Madrid, another at Cordova and several others in various Spanish towns. St. Pius Vapproved the Order of the Brothers Hospitallers in 1572 under the rule of St. Augustine. The order spread rapidly into the other countries of Europe, and even into the distant colonies. In 1584 Pope Gregory XIIIcalled some of the Brothers to Romeand gave them the Hospital of St. John Calybita, which then became the mother-house of the whole order: Brother Pietro Soriano was appointed first superior. Brother Sebastiano Arias founded the hospital of Our Lady at Naplesand the famous hospital of Milan. At that time a holy servant of God and of the poor joined the brotherhood and shed great lustre upon the order by his burning charity and profound humility: Blessed John Grande, who was beatifiedby Pius IXin 1852.
The first hospital of the order in France was founded in Paris, in 1601, by Queen
Marie de Medici. In the stormy days of the French Revolutionthe Brothers were expelled from the forty hospitals where they were caring for 4125 patients. But since then some large new hospitals have been established. The order is governed by a prior general, who resides in Rome; it is divided into eleven provinces, with 102 hospitals, 1536 Brothers, and 12,978 beds.
In addition to these a hospice of the order has been established at Nazareth. In 1882 a home for demented men was founded at
Stillorgannear Dublin, Ireland. The house at Scorton, near Darlington, Yorkshire, pleasantly situated in a very healthy country district, was founded in 1880 for the reception of male patients suffering from chronic infirmities, paralysis, or old age, supported by charitable contributions and payments for inmates.
The Brothers undergo a special course of training in order to fit them for carrying out their various works of charity, to which they devote their life. In some provinces some of them are even graduates in medicine, surgery and chemistry. The members are not in
Holy orders, but priests wishing to devote their sacred ministry to the Brothers and patients are received. After the example of their founder, they seek their own sanctification and their patients' spiritual and corporal welfare. To the three solemn vowsof religion they add a fourth, of serving the sick for life in their hospitals. They also perform the usual duties and pious exercises of the religious life. They assist daily at Holy Mass, meditation, the recital in choir of the office of Our Lady and spiritual reading. Young men of good disposition, sound health and possessing aptitude for the order, resolved to the religious life are received from the age of fifteen to thirty-five. The religious habit is usually given to postulants after three months. The time of novitiate is two years, after which the novicepronounces the vows which, although simple, are perpetual. Three years later, he can be admitted to solemn profession.
ex abuse in New Zealand
The St. John of God order ran the
Maryland's School, which taught pupils with learning difficulties, in Christchurch, New Zealand. A number of brothers who worked there were accused of sex offences. [cite news
last = Martin
first = Yvonne
title = Order called to account
date = 2007-06-16
url = http://www.stuff.co.nz/4096398a13135.html
accessdate = 2007-12-14 ]
* [http://www.saintjohnofgod.org Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God]
** [http://www.vocationsstjohnofgod.com/ Australia]
** [http://www.sjog.org.au/portal/page?_pageid=415,1&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL Australia and New Zealand]
** [http://www.hospitallers.org/ United States]
** [http://www.oh-fbf.it International]
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02802b.htm Catholic Encyclopedia]
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