Tuesday, March 08, 2016

He felt a wonderful strength overtaking his weakness

Une Minute avec Marie
An initiative of the Mary of Nazareth Association

March 8 – Our Lady of Graces (Italy, 1487) - Saint John of God (1495 - 1550)

He felt a wonderful strength overtaking his weakness

The Triumph of St. John of God by Corrado Giaquinto
The Spaniards were besieging Hondarribia (northern Spain) that was occupied by the French. One day, John, a young Spanish soldier (the future St John of God), was sent out on a reconnaissance mission. He was riding near the border when his horse reared and threw him down against a rock. Unable to get up and in extreme pain, John prayed to the One from whom, since childhood, he had always sought help and consolation—the Holy Virgin Mary: "You are the only one who can save me, Queen of Heaven, do not let me fall into the hands of the enemy." Then he fainted.

When he came back to his senses, he saw a girl beside him who spoke to him with compassion. Dressed as a shepherdess, with a stick in hand, she looked at him and handed him a jug. John greedily swallowed the cool drink... The stranger held out her hand, which he took hesitantly. He got up unsteadily on his feet. Then he felt a wonderful strength overtaking his weakness. The shepherdess accompanied him on part of his journey and then left him. John was convinced that the unfamiliar woman could only be the Virgin Mary.

John gave up the profession of arms, went in search of the will of God, and became the great Saint John of God, proclaimed by Leo XIII patron of the sick and hospitals.

The Mary of Nazareth Team
Source: Saint Jean de Dieu