Years of hard work, poverty, and hunger took their toll on John, and he fell ill with pneumonia at age 55. Sensing that his time on earth was close to over, he requested the Last Sacraments, and was visited by the bishop himself. When the bishop asked if he had anything left on his mind, Saint John of God responded with a characteristically practical answer, his mind still focused on charity.
“There are three things that make me uneasy,” he said. “The first is that I have received so many graces from God, and have not recognized them, and have repaid them with so little of my own. The second is that after I am dead, I fear lest the poor women I have rescued, and the poor sinners I have reclaimed, may be treated badly. The third is that those who have trusted me with money, and whom I have not fully repaid, may suffer loss on my account.”
“As his time grew short St John requested those round his bed to leave him alone for a few minutes; he had lived his life alone, he would die alone. When they were gone he rose from his bed and knelt before a crucifix. The nurses entered shortly after and found him still kneeling there, his face resting on the feet of the Savior, but he was quite dead. His body remained kneeling till it was taken up to be laid out for burial. It was the eighth of March, 1550, a little after midnight. At the time of his death John was fifty-five years of age.”
(Taken From Saints For Sinners by Alban Goodier, S.J.)
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